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PAL to airlift 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Manila today

Aviation Updates Philippines – National flag carrier Philippine Airlines announced on Sunday it will transport 500,000 doses of Sinovac's CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccines today, April 11, 2021. The half a million doses arriving on Sunday is the second batch of vaccines purchased by the Philippine government.

COVID-19 vaccines are loaded into an Airbus A330-300 of Philippine Airlines for a flight to Manila from Beijing, China. Photo from Cielo Villaluna, Philippine Airlines.

PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said flight PR-359 from Beijing is expected to arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 at 5:55 pm today.

As of press time, RP-C8789, an Airbus A330-300 aircraft, is already in Beijing in preparation for the vaccine transport flight bound for the Philippines. Flight PR-358 arrived in China at 11:10 am after a four-hour flight from Manila.

The transport mission is headed by PAL's Captain Mitchel Lasmarias, assisted by First Officers Louis Patrick Relato and Lorenz Ledesma. Chinese Interpreter Joann Yu Uy completes the flight roster.

Upon arrival, National Task Force (NTF) Chairman and Health Sec. Francisco Duque, NTF Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr., NTF Testing Czar Vince Dizon, and Health Undersecretary Carolina Taiño are expected to receive the vaccines.

On March 29, the flag carrier also carried the initial batch of purchased COVID-19 vaccines from China, amounting to 1-million doses. This excludes the prior PAL flight which fetched the 400,000-dose donation of Sinovac vaccines on March 24.

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