Singapore Airlines delivers first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines to Singapore
Singapore Airlines (SIA) delivered the first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines to Singapore at Changi Airport on December 21 on board one of its Boeing 747-400 freighters. This was also the first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipment to be delivered to a country in Asia.
The vaccines were carried on board SQ7979, a scheduled freighter service from Brussels, Belgium, to Singapore. The Changi Ready Taskforce, which has been actively preparing for the shipments, in a LinkedIn post said, "The Changi Ready Taskforce had been preparing for the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccines and the first shipment has just arrived in Singapore. Over the months, the taskforce ramped up the hub’s ability to handle different types of Covid-19 vaccines and meet the requirements of stringent temperature-controlled environments to maintain the vaccines’ efficacy. Changi Airport is ready to manage an expected surge in the volume of vaccines to be air transported to the region once they are approved by regulators."
The flight departed on December 20 and arrived in Singapore on December 21 at approximately 19:55 local time. The shipment was prioritised for loading into the aircraft in Brussels and was given similar precedence during unloading in Singapore. It was then transported to SATS’s cold-chain facility, Coolport, for subsequent storage and ground transportation.
Prior to today’s delivery flight, SIA conducted a successful shipment trial on December 19 on the same freighter flight route. Besides ensuring the smooth and safe delivery of the thermal shippers, also known as the cool boxes, used for the trial, the internal temperature of each box was actively tracked on an end-to-end basis. The sublimation rate of the dry ice in the cool boxes was also measured.
Chin Yau Seng, senior vice president Cargo, SIA, said, “The delivery of this first batch of Covid-19 vaccines to Singapore is an important milestone in the fight against Covid-19, and we are honoured to be able to play a part in this. It also served to demonstrate SIA’s and the Singapore air hub’s readiness for the very important job of transporting and distributing Covid-19 vaccines internationally.”