Four million face masks have been flown into Bournemouth Airport from China.

The Airbus A340, owned by European Aviation Group, arrived at 8am on Saturday after an 11-hour flight from Tianjin.

The plane, known as 9H-NHS, carries ‘Protect our NHS’ livery.

European Aviation Group’s chairman, Paul Stoddart, said: "It was fantastic to see our new aircraft, registration appropriately 9H-NHS, arrive back as the first cargo flight without the seats with pure cargo back into Bournemouth with millions of masks onboard. Yet another successful PPE delivery to the UK."

The aircraft was the first in European Aviation Group's fleet to be converted from passenger to cargo for this bespoke type of operation. This is the sixth flight in total to return to Bournemouth Airport carrying PPE, and the fourth one from China. There are further flights over the next few weeks transporting medical supplies back into the UK, and there will be up to four a week in the near future.

Earlier this month, another Airbus, known at 'Nightingale 1', brought back 10 million pairs of surgical gloves from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

And on Tuesday, April 28, the same aircraft touched down on the runway at Hurn packed with 125,000 surgical gowns.