Singapore Airlines (SIA) has delivered the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Australia, transporting the valuable cargo from Belgium via its Singapore hub.
Delivery of the highly-anticipated vaccine arrived in Sydney on board an SIA flight yesterday, having begun its journey in Brussels around 40 hours earlier.
Together with DHL Global Forwarding, the airline ensured the precious cargo was given priority loading.
The vaccines were also monitored throughout their journey, including during their transit in Singapore, to ensure there were no disruptions to the cold chain requirements.
SIA’s regional vice president for the South West Pacific region, Philip Goh, welcomed the delivery, noting it was another proud first for the carrier in Australia.
“For more than 53 years, we have connected Australia to the world, and throughout that period we have celebrated many firsts, but none more important or proud as this one,” he said.
“Delivery of Australia’s first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine marks a significant point in Australia’s and the world’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The successful delivery of the vaccine from Belgium to Australia, a journey that has taken around 40 hours, further demonstrates SIA’s and the Singapore air hub’s ability to safely, efficiently and effectively undertake the very important job of transporting and distributing COVID-19 vaccines internationally.
“I want to acknowledge all of the parties involved, particularly DHL Global Forwarding, in this challenging project and congratulate the entire team on the successful first delivery, which we hope sets the stage for many more to follow.”
In December, SIA delivered the first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to Singapore, which was also the first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipment to be delivered to a country in Asia.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, the airline has remained committed to keeping Australia connected through the ongoing operation of cargo-only flights.
SIA has also continued to increase passenger and cargo capacity to the Australian market over the course of the past 12 months, helping stranded Australians return home, ensure PPE, COVID-19 test kits and other essential pharmaceuticals and medical equipment could be imported, and support the export of Aussie producers’ products to the world.
Between March 2020 and December 2020, SIA carried more than 60,000 tonnes of cargo into Australia, including more than 2,200 tonnes of PPE, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and COVID-19 test kits.
During the same period, the airline has carried more than 45,000 tonnes of cargo to its global network, including more than 10,000 tonnes of Australia’s famous meat and fresh seafood.
Furthermore, all three passenger airlines within the SIA Group – Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot – were among the first carriers in the world to operate flights with a full complement of vaccinated pilots and cabin crew.
Featured image source: Facebook/Singapore Airlines