AirAsia Philippines is seeking an approval from the government to transport COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
AirAsia said it has applied for regulatory approval as a Dangerous Goods carrier.
While waiting for the approval, the world’s award-winning (or leading) low cost carrier will also seek for special authorization from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to proactively participate in the possible roll out of the vaccines to far flung provinces in the country.
The airline’s commitment comes ahead of the arrival of at least 5.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines expected in the Philippines in the first quarter of 2021, according to COVID-19 Task Force Chief Carlito Galvez.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month approved the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca COVID19 vaccines. Other pharmaceutical companies are now in the process of applying for the EUA.
To guarantee the safe and proper handling and transportation of the vaccines, AirAsia has embarked on a technical training and engineering intervention to support the vaccine cold chain.
AirAsia personnel were trained on the preparation from ground to cargo handling of the vaccines and its cooling devices.
Such precision and coordination is important to ensure that the vaccines, which are perishable and considered a biological hazard, remain in sub-zero temperatures to preserve and prevent them from breaking down.
The company has also readied Teleport – AirAsia’s logistics venture and its newest door-to-door delivery system to help in the delivery of the vaccines.
Teleport is now widely available in 12 key cities in the country such as Bacolod, Cebu, General Santos, Iloilo, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga.
“AirAsia is always ready to assist the government in this huge humanitarian undertaking. 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,” Ricky Isla, AirAsia Philippines chief executive said.
More than anything else, we see this as part of our corporate social responsibility to make sure that we help communities see and feel that there is hope for them to return to some semblance of normalcy and start dreaming big again.
AirAsia has always been supportive of the g/overnment in all of its endeavors. Aside from helping the Department of Tourism in rebuilding confidence in local tourism and air travel, AirAsia was able to mount over a thousand chartered and repatriation flights, and is open to supporting other initiatives which will greatly impact our return to normalcy.”
AirAsia recently earned a perfect 7-star rating from Airlineratings.com for going above and beyond the protection of its passengers against COVID-19.