On 21 February 2021, the UAE-based Emirates airlines announced that it successfully operated a flight with fully vaccinated frontline teams from pilots, cabin crews to customer service representatives at every touchpoint of the travel journey. The flight Ek215 departed at 0830hr from Dubai for Los Angeles. The airlines claim to be the first airlines in the world to successfully do so. The gesture shows that Emirates puts their priority on the safety of their passengers and employees above all.
In the announcement, Adel Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer of Emirates said – “Our operational workforce are at the aviation frontline, helping people get to where they need to be, and moving essential goods to global communities.”
Adel Al Redha also assures us that safety is the major priority. “ Protecting our people with vaccinations is important – for them, for our community, for the smooth running of our operations, and also for our customers as it introduces an additional layer of protection when they travel with us. We’ve seen a very positive response with high demand and take-up of the Covid-19 vaccine from our colleagues at the operational frontline, and there’s continued momentum in the rate of vaccinations across the business. We would like to thank the UAE’s leadership for making three types of vaccines available in the country, and for their proactive commitment to championing an extensive National Vaccination Programme” says Redha.
The airline started its vaccination roll-out in January. Currently, there are over 26,000 frontline workers at Emirates who are fully vaccinated. Data shows that this covers 44% of the total manpower in Emirates. Currently, the Emirates group’s vaccination centers are running 7 days and 12 hours a day to make sure aviation frontliners get the jabs with top priority. Currently, the vaccination rate in the UAE is one of the highest in the world.
Previously, Etihad Airlines was also one of the first airlines to vaccinate 100% of its flying crew. We can hope that other airlines will take this achievement as motivation to make air travel more safer and reliable.