AirAsia Philippines secures approval to transport COVID-19 vaccines

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 26 2021 03:49 PM

AirAsia Philippines secures approval to transport COVID-19 vaccines 1
All set for COVID-19 vaccine delivery: AirAsia ground personnel conduct Covid-19 vaccine transport time and motion simulation at the AirAsia cargo house and ramp area at the NAIA Terminal 3. Handout

MANILA - AirAsia Philippines said Monday it has secured a regulatory approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to participate in the "largest humanitarian effort" of transporting COVID-19 vaccines. 

The permit will allow AirAsia to help distribute COVID-19 vaccines to various parts of the country, the airline said in a statement.

AirAsia eyes transporting COVID-19 vaccines from Manila to Cebu and Davao starting this week, followed by Clark and Zamboanga and other routes including Bacolod, Bohol, Cagayn de Oro, Iloilo, General Santos City and Puerto Princesa using an Airbus A320, it said.

The carrier also "expressed willingness" to mount chartered cargo flights to areas not covered by its existing routes, it said.

“We have actively participated in different humanitarian projects in the past through a series of humanitarian flights to bring the much-needed help especially in the provinces which are not yet part of the AirAsia route network. Bringing the vaccines to the farthest localities in the provinces isn’t much of a challenge for us," 
AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said.

AirAsia said the authorization came just in time for the expected arrival of doses from Sinovac BioTech, Gamaleya Institute and Pfizer-BioNTech.

The Philippines is expecting the delivery of 1 million doses of CoronaVac, 480,000 doses of Sputnik V, 195,000 doses of Pfizer and 20,000 doses of Gamaleya vaccines by end of April while 13 million doses of Moderna's vaccine are expected to arrive by June and July, the carrier said, citing data from National Task Force chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez.
 
AirAsia will use Aircraft C02 detectors to ensure the safety of the cabin during deliveries. It will also use the company's cargo and logistics venture Teleport, it said.

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have been transporting vaccines across the country.

The Philippines has received some 3.5 million doses of vaccines as of April 22, 2021. 

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