Emirates Runs First Flight with Fully Vaccinated Frontline Staff

More than 70 employees who took care of a recent service to Los Angeles had received both jabs of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Photo: Emirates

Emirates says it has become one of the first airlines in the world to operate a flight serviced by fully vaccinated frontline teams at every touchpoint of the travel journey. This past Sunday, Flight EK215 from Dubai to Los Angeles was supported by inoculated staff members at check-in, security, the premium lounge, and boarding gate, not to mention engineers, pilots, and cabin crew who had also received both doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Sinopharm vaccines available in the UAE.

Even behind-the-scenes employees in flight operations — including those in aircraft appearance (i.e. cleaning), loading and special handling teams from dnata (the Dubai National Air Travel Agency), and SkyCargo teams working on cargo and logistics for EK215 — were inoculated against Covid-19. Since the Emirates Group began its vaccination drive just over a month ago, close to 26,000 or 44 percent of the company’s UAE-based frontline aviation workforce has been fully vaccinated.

According to a statement, nearly 5,000 of Emirates’ cabin and flight deck crew have already received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, while thousands more Emirates Group employees in other roles have taken their jabs at the company’s clinics and vaccination centers, which have been running 12 hours a day throughout the week to ensure that aviation frontliners are protected as quickly as possible.

Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer, said, “At the outset of the pandemic, Emirates implemented robust safety measures to protect and prioritize the safety of our customers and employees at all stages of the travel journey, and with the rapid progress of our own vaccination program and high rates of take-up, more of our flights will soon be operating with fully vaccinated frontline employees. We are also confident that with more people being vaccinated, combined with strong safety measures in place, we can all look forward to the easing of border entry guidelines for many countries.”

After Israel, the UAE has the world’s second-highest rate of vaccinations for citizens and residents; the country has administered more than 5.4 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine so far. According to figures published by Oxford University–based research website Our World in Data, the UAE’s distribution rate stands at 56.15 doses per 100 people.

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