This year has been a busy one for us. We’ve helped people celebrate traditions across the globe, from moving whiskey for Saint Patricks Day to flowers for Valentine’s Day and chocolate eggs for Easter. But it has not all been parties – we’ve also helped save lives with medical aid and pharmaceuticals, satisfied the world’s culinary cravings with mangos and samosas, and even rescued a famous pigeon, Bob, who got lost and ended up 4,168 miles from home.
Here’s a recap of some of our sky-high moments.
As we cheered on the New Year, many of us reflected on 2021. Seeing as keeping fit is one of the most popular resolutions, there’s no surprise we flew three tonnes of smartwatches to Brazil.
Good drink and food are vital for fuelling a great start to the year: India welcomed 2022 with a 26-tonne delivery of gin from the UK, and Nigerians threw open their cupboards and filled their shelves with 23 tonnes of beef stock from Belgium – a home-cooking essential for many traditional stews, soups, and curries.
We also delivered tonnes of lateral flow tests all over the world in the hopes of a more positive upcoming 12 months.
In the most romantic month of the year, we played Cupid as Valentine’s Day approached. Worldwide, people showed adoration to their loved ones with over 500 tonnes of sweet-smelling blooms, which consisted mostly of roses, tulips, carnations, and chrysanthemums.
Hearts were racing when there was a serious Champagne emergency in the Maldives. We swooped in and delivered a last-minute eight-tonne shipment to Malé – ensuring all beachfront proposals and special friendships could be celebrated with a cool glass of bubbly.
This month, the future of disadvantaged children in Columbia became brighter as they received the gift of education in the form of books and computers that were shipped to libraries all over the country.
Further north, in the US, glasses were raised on 17th March for Saint Patricks Day. In the run-up, around one and a half million bottles of whisky were zipped from the UK and Ireland to ensure the day went down as smoothly as a glass of single malt.
Meanwhile, beauty-conscious Americans and Brazilians beelined for their nearest salon for anti-wrinkle Botox injections, after our delivery following a worldwide shortage.
In the US, spring was in full swing, and New Yorkers were ready to boast their golden glow from the ten tonnes of tanning lotion we dropped off. Following that, 600 kilograms of soothing aloe vera was jetted off to Guatemala City for cosmetics production.
Another cherished part of this year was in full force: the Easter holidays. As a result, we flew 100,000 chocolate eggs from Italy to the US.
On a more solemn note, we donated the capacity to deliver 125 tonnes of aid for the people of Ukraine as the War broke out.
We helped grant the gift of clear vision to the US by transporting a large shipment of contact lenses from Dublin to Orlando.
Toronto, on the other hand, seemed to have eyes bigger than their stomachs when they ordered 50,000 samosas from Bombay (we can’t blame them – they’re irresistible). India isn’t just an expert in pre-made goods, they’re also the provider of 34 per cent of the world’s black pepper and ended up sending quite a bit to London.
Comfort food was a key theme this month. When a world-renowned Swiss chocolatier needed more organic cacao, we jetted over three tonnes of these exotic beans from Ecuador. Not to mention Saudi Arabia needed 1.2 tonnes of seasoning to sprinkle on their pizzas.
While people were indulging in tasty treats, India had a hankering for something a little less edible and more luxurious from the UK, as we shifted 28 tonnes of jewellery overseas.
Fantastic food is always worth the fee, but there’s something you can’t buy – keeping people connected. That’s why we worked hard to fly 11 tonnes of mobile phones to London and nine tonnes of mobile phone accessories to Madrid.
To polish things off, it seemed the UK was desperate for a spring clean, as we loaded up our planes with 18 tonnes of mops.
As the summer holidays approached, we carried 8.4 tonnes of golf balls to Toronto, 3.4 tonnes of electric bikes to London, and 1.6 tonnes of 100 per cent recycled plastic sea towels to beachgoers in Philadelphia.
Hong Kong let loose a little differently, with 5.6 tonnes of high-quality Cuban cigars imported from Havana.
Speaking of sunny climes, we helped keep everyone hydrated by shipping 23 tonnes of mouthwatering fruity grape flavouring to Johannesburg to be tested in a new drink. But in Australia, temperatures were dropping, so we transported 4.7 tonnes of coffee beans to Sydney for the perfect chilly morning beverage.
Many of us took a break over July, but hospitals never stopped, and we flew 85 tonnes of life-saving pharmaceuticals to the US and Belgium.
The UK had a hankering for sweet things and received 15 tonnes of mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival in China Town, plus 37 tonnes of mangos and 68 tonnes of fruit salad.
We weren’t just eating well in the UK: we were dressing for the occasion too. Parents prepared their kids for the start of a new school year with 7.3 tonnes of footwear. Another important garment was delivered around the world in preparation for the Hindu Raksha Bandhan festival – the Rakhi, which is a sign of love and respect.
Bob, the famous racing pigeon could have done with a wrist accessory too, perhaps a smartwatch, after he got lost and ended up 4,300 miles off-course during a race. Thankfully we were able to transport him back to the UK to reunite him with his owner.
As frosty mornings swept across Europe and autumn began, Amsterdam and France received three-and-a-half tonnes of shawls, sweaters, and scarfs. Each item was made by the fair hands of indigenous artisans in Ecuador.
The nights continued to draw in and The Great British Bake Off inspired us to spend time in the kitchen. There were plenty of blueberries for some fruity muffins, as the berry surge hit, and a record-breaking 812 tonnes of these juicy delights were shipped to the UK in September.
We dropped off eight and a half tonnes of construction supplies to Kuwait and nearly nine tonnes of steel bars from São Paulo to Israel.
Spooky season approached and two tonnes of pumpkin flour was flown to Chicago as well as four tonnes of Halloween candy to Bangkok. More festivities began in India as Diwali commenced. To help spread the joy, we flew nearly two tonnes of intricately decorated lamps from Bombay to Toronto.
Meanwhile, devastation hit Pakistan as floods left almost 10 million children in need of immediate life-saving support. We donated space for 34 tonnes of aid during this national emergency, which impacted around 33 million in total.
We worked with the England and Wales Cricket Board who donated 1.2 tonnes of cricket gear to many of the schools affected by the flooding in Islamabad.
Further South, an injured turtle was rescued by the Ocean Conservation Trust. Heidi the turtle, who previously lived in the Maldives, was rehomed in the UK for essential rehabilitation treatment.
As the National Marine Aquarium clapped as Heidi arrived, the world cheered for the countdown to the FIFA World Cup. Not long before football fans arrived in Doha, referee equipment landed from Italy.
When we weren’t out watching football, cosy nights in with a warming spicy cup of cardamom coffee became the thing to do in Toronto as we flew out batches from Delhi.
Santa wasn’t the only one flying gifts across the globe. We moved Christmas chocolate from Slovakia to the USA and felt baubles from South Africa to the UK.
While Seattle geared up for a season on the slopes with two tonnes of snowboards being flown in, Christmas in the Maldives looked a little different and welcomed 112 kilograms of surfing kit.
With eager guests awaiting festive dinner parties, a London hotel needed to stock up on the finest designer tableware, so we shipped 3.8 tonnes of luxury Belgian tableware.
Interested in discovering our top shipments in 2021? Read the article here.