Emirates operates first flight serviced by fully vaccinated frontline teams. Picture: Supplied.
Emirates operates first flight serviced by fully vaccinated frontline teams. Picture: Supplied.

First fully vaccinated Emirates flight takes off

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Feb 22, 2021

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Emirates has become one of the first airlines in the world to operate a flight with fully vaccinated frontline teams.

Its flight departing Dubai at 8.30 am for Los Angeles, had all crew vaccinated. Included were check-in staff, security, Business and First Class lounge, boarding gate employees, as well as engineers, pilots and cabin crew.

Also supporting the flight’s operations were fully vaccinated aircraft loading and special handling teams, as well as SkyCargo teams working on the cargo and logistics requirements for EK215.

The Emirates Group rolled out its vaccination drive just over a month ago. Around 26 000, or 44% of the Group’s UAE frontline aviation workforce, have received both doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Sinopharm vaccines.

Adel Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer, Emirates Airline, said the airline’s operational workforce was at the aviation frontline.

"Protecting our people with vaccinations is important, for them, for our community, and the smooth running of our operations. It also introduces an additional layer of protection when they travel with us.

“We’ve seen a very positive response with high demand and take-up of the Covid-19 vaccine from our colleagues at the operational frontline, and there’s continued momentum in the rate of vaccinations across the business.

“We would like to thank the UAE’s leadership for making three types of vaccines available in the country, and for their proactive commitment to championing an extensive National Vaccination Programme.

“With the rapid progress of our own vaccination programme and high rates of take-up, more of our flights will soon be operating with fully vaccinated frontline employees. We are also confident that with more people vaccinated, combined with strong safety measures in place, we can all look forward to the easing of border entry guidelines for many countries,” he said.

Nearly 5 000 cabin and flight deck crew have opted to receive both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. In addition, thousands more Emirates Group employees in other roles have taken their Covid-19 vaccine through the company’s clinics and vaccination centres. Others have opted to take their vaccine at one of the many vaccination centres across the UAE.

The Emirates Group vaccination programme is the latest in its series of safeguards and protections to deliver on its health and safety promises to its customers and employees. The Group’s vaccination centres have been running 12 hours a day, every day of the week to prioritise and provide aviation frontliners with the vaccine.

The UAE has administered over 5.4 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, and Our World In Data, a research website based at Oxford University, recently reported that the country’s distribution rate stands at 55.27 doses per 100 people, ranking it the second-highest in the world.

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