Singapore Airlines delivered the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to New Zealand today, having transported the valuable cargo from Belgium, via its Singapore hub.
Delivery of the highly anticipated vaccine arrived in Auckland just after breakfast onboard a Singapore Airlines flight, having begun its journey in Brussels around 36 hours earlier.
Together with DHL Global Forwarding, Singapore Airlines ensured the precious cargo was given priority loading. The vaccines were also monitored throughout their journey, including during their transit in Singapore, to ensure there were no disruptions to the cold chain requirements.
Singapore Airlines general manager New Zealand Kenny Teo welcomed the delivery noting it was another proud first for Singapore Airlines in New Zealand.
"Since we began operations to New Zealand almost 45 years ago, we have celebrated many milestones and achievements together, however none have been more important, or could we be prouder of, than this milestone," Kenny says.
"This delivery marks a significant point in New Zealand’s, and the world’s, fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and hopefully the start of the recovery and re-opening process.
"The successful delivery of the vaccine from Belgium to New Zealand, a journey that has taken around 36 hours, demonstrates SIA’s and the Singapore air hub’s ability to safely, efficiently and effectively undertake the very important job of transporting and distributing COVID-19 vaccines internationally.
"I want to acknowledge all of the parties involved, particularly DHL Global Forwarding, in this challenging project and congratulate the entire team on the successful first delivery, which we hope sets the stage for many more to follow."
The delivery of New Zealand’s first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine coincided with the arrival of Australia’s first batch, which was also delivered by Singapore Airlines, in partnership with DHL Global Forwarding.
In December, Singapore Airlines delivered the first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines to Singapore, which was also the first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipment to be delivered to a country in Asia.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, Singapore Airlines has remained committed to keeping New Zealand connected through the ongoing operation of cargo-only flights.
SIA has also continued to increase passenger and cargo capacity to the New Zealand market over the course of the past 12 months, helping New Zealanders return home, ensure PPE, COVID-19 test kits and other essential pharmaceuticals and medical equipment could be imported and supported the export of Kiwi producer’s world famous products to the world.
Between March 2020 and December 2020, Singapore Airlines carried more than 8,800 tonnes of goods into New Zealand, including almost 1,000 tonnes of PPE, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and COVID-19 test kits. During the same period, the airline also carried more than 10,000 tonnes of cargo to its global network, including more than 3,000 tonnes of New Zealand’s famous meat, fruit, vegetables and fresh seafood.