MANILA, 27 April 2021: AirAsia gained regulatory approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Friday to transport Covid-19 vaccines packed in dry ice, allowing the airline to participate in the largest humanitarian effort in the Philippines.
The authorisation precedes the expected arrival of vaccines
from Sinovac BioTech, Gamaleya Institute and Pfizer-BioNTech over the coming
weeks and months.
According to National Task Force Against Covid-19 Chief
Implementer and Vaccine Secretary Carlito Galvez, the country is expecting the
delivery of 1 million doses of CoronaVac, 480,000 doses of Sputnik V, 195,000
doses of Pfizer vaccines and 20,000 doses of Gamaleya towards this weekly
while Moderna is slated to begin the
delivery of 13 million vaccine doses starting June.
AirAsia will transport Covid-19 vaccines from Manila to Cebu and Davao starting this week,
followed immediately by Clark and Zamboanga and other routes such as Bacolod and Bohol, Cagayan De Oro, Iloilo,
General Santos City and Puerto Princesa using the Airbus A320.
AirAsia also expressed willingness to mount chartered cargo
flights to other destinations not presently covered by its existing route
network to facilitate prompt delivery of the vaccines.
AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said: “Our business model
used to be purely air transport. The pandemic made us rethink and reassess
essential areas. You can be assured that revitalising the air transportation
sector is AirAsia’s commitment to the Filipino people.”