AirAsia Philippines secures approval to fly COVID-19 vaccines

Aviation Updates Philippines – Low-cost carrier AirAsia Philippines recently received regulatory approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to transport COVID-19 vaccines packed in dry ice.
Photo from AirAsia

The approval will now enable AirAsia to fly these anti-COVID vaccines, paving the way for the airline to participate in the largest humanitarian effort of bringing hope to various destinations in the Philippines.

According to AirAsia, CAAP's authorization comes in time for the expected bulk arrivals of vaccines from Sinovac BioTech, Gamaleya Institute, and Pfizer-BioNTech in the coming weeks and months.

Aboard its Airbus A320 fleet, the budget carrier said it plans to carry vaccines from Manila to Cebu and Davao starting this week, to be followed immediately by Clark, and Zamboanga, and other routes such as Bacolod, Bohol, Cagayan De Oro, Iloilo, General Santos City, and Puerto Princesa.

AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said, “We have actively participated in different humanitarian projects in the past through a series of humanitarian flights to bring the much-needed help especially in the provinces which are not yet part of the AirAsia route network. Bringing the vaccines to the farthest localities in the provinces isn’t much of a challenge for us.”

“Our business model used to be purely air transport. The pandemic made us rethink and reassess areas that are essential. You can be assured that revitalizing the air transportation sector is AirAsia’s commitment to the Filipino people.”

“Safety First” is rooted in AirAsia’s DNA. Our personnel were subjected to intense technical training, and adequate preparations were also laid out to make sure the human and engineering components of vaccine handling are met, and of the highest standards.”

Aside from AirAsia, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific are also authorized to transport COVID-19 vaccines. Just recently, PAL reached a milestone in flying 2.4 million doses of vaccines from Beijing to Manila since March 2021.