Emirates yesterday operated its first fully vaccinated COVID-19 flight.
Earlier, IH Aviation And Travel had reported that Emirates is going to operate a fully vaccinated COVID-19 flight on 10th April. That flight took place yesterday by an Airbus A380.
Everyone onboard Emirates flight EK2021 was vaccinated. The airline says that ‘the flight illustrates confidence and undiminished excitement for air travel’.
A combined effort
Flight EK2021 was boarded by nearly 400 fully vaccinated passengers and crew and was also supported by fully vaccinated ground staff. The Dubai-based airline said that the flight ‘was unprecedented in the industry in scale’. Emirates highlights that this move demonstrates the UAE’s readiness to support the safe return of air travel. Altogether, the country has administered nearly nine million vaccine doses to date and is intent on upholding its responsibility as an important connector across the globe.
The Emirates Group vaccination programme rolled out to its UAE-based workforce less than three months ago, and since then has delivered COVID-19 shots to over 35,000 Emirates employees across its vaccination centres.
Special Flight’s Details
The flight was in the air for nearly four hours and cruised above all the emirates in UAE. The flight was operated by Emirates newest Airbus A380 aircraft which featured the airline’s brand-new Premium Economy seats, and refreshed cabin interiors across every cabin class. The aircraft which operated this flight had a special ‘Choose to Vaccinate’ livery.
All EK2021 passengers were provided rapid COVID-19 PCR tests, facilitated by Pure Health. Pure Health, the largest integrated healthcare solutions provider in the UAE, has facilitated the administration of up to 4 million PCR tests at Dubai Airports to date.
Once checked-in, passengers received the green ‘Choose to Vaccinate’ pin and took photos to mark the special event. All passengers also received a bespoke ‘Choose to Vaccinate’ stamp on each boarding pass. After disembarking, they were given commemorative certificates for taking part.
EK2021 was commanded by UAE National Captain Ahmed Al Obeidli, First Officer Ramon Wilde and flight deck crew were supported by Captain Ricky Garala.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, said:
The UAE’s rapid pace and progress in vaccinating our population is a testament of our leadership’s vision and commitment to safeguard our communities, and manage the pandemic by adopting the appropriate measures to protect both nationals and residents. Today’s flight is a showcase of the combined efforts and dedication of all stakeholders in supporting the vaccination programme, and the implementation of protocols in the past 12 months to ensure a safe travel journey, stimulate passenger traffic and set the groundwork for the ramp up of air travel in the near future. Emirates continues to support the national vaccination programme and we are pleased with the progress made within the group in vaccinating our employees.
Adel Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer, Emirates, said:
We would like to thank the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, the Dubai Health Authority,The UAE General Civil Aviation authority (GCAA), Dubai Airports, GRFDA, Dubai Police, Airbus and Pure Health as well as other stakeholders for their close cooperation and support of our special flight.
A step ahead
Yesterday’s flight follows another milestone when the airline in February performed the first flight serviced by fully vaccinated frontline teams across all passenger touchpoints. Just a few days ago, Qatar airways operated the world’s 1st fully vaccinated COVID-19 flight.
This type of initiatives are crucial in demonstrating that people can travel safely despite the challenging circumstances.
Featured image by Emirates
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