AirAsia seeks gov't approval to handle COVID-19 vaccine shipments

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 09 2021 03:09 PM

A file photo of an AirAsia airplane. From AirAsia

MANILA - AirAsia is securing approval from the Philippine government to handle shipments of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide, the company said Tuesday.

AirAsia said it recently applied to be a "Dangerous Goods carrier", and is now in the process of getting authorization from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to participate in the rollout of vaccines in far-flung provinces.

“Aside from our existing route network, we are committed to mount charter flights to provincial airports which can accommodate wide-body aircrafts such as the Airbus 320 to fast track vaccine distribution efforts," AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said. 

AirAsia said its personnel have undergone technical training to properly handle temperature-sensitive vaccines in cargo.

The company also said it will ensure vaccines remain in sub-zero temperatures during flights to maintain their condition.

AirAsia will also use Teleport, its new door-to-door delivery for distribution.

Teleport covers delivery to 12 cities, namely: Bacolod, Cebu, General Santos, Iloilo, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga. 

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the country will get around 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines under the global alliance COVAX Facility in the first quarter, including 117,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine expected to arrive by the third week of February.

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