More than 90% of Singapore Airlines' cabin crew have signed up for a vaccination.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) has taken off today with fully vaccinated crews on board.
A Singapore Airlines plane bound for Jakarta left Changi Airport this morning carrying 12 crew members who had all received both shots of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.
Two further flights departed later in the day with fully vaccinated crews, including a Scoot service to Bangkok and a SilkAir flight to Phnom Penh.
The SIA Group said in a statement that it was among the first airlines in the world to operate flights with fully vaccinated crews. It added that more than 90% of SIA’s cabin crew and pilots have now signed up to receive their inoculations.
A handful of other countries have also prioritised the vaccination of frontline aviation workers. Etihad Airlines, the flag carrier for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), released the news this week that 100% of its air crews had received at least a first jab.
Dubai-based Emirates has also started a massive vaccination campaign for its employees based in the UAE.
The Singapore government has prioritised the aviation sector as part of its national vaccination programme. SIA said this reflected the national carrier’s crucial role in Singapore’s economic recovery. Changi Airport set-up a vaccination centre in Terminal 4 in January for air crew and airport workers to receive their inoculations.
“Vaccinations will be key to the reopening of borders and to enhancing travel confidence, in tandem with robust testing regimes and the wide-ranging safe management measures that are in place on the ground and in the air,” said SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong.
Singapore’s transport minister, Ong Ye Kung, told media that the country’s vaccination drive was “proceeding like clockwork”.
Singapore approved the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for use at the end of last year. So far, more than 250,000 people have received their first dose. The country hopes to inoculate its entire population by the end of this year.