Dubai’s Emirates Group has kicked off a COVID-19 vaccination programme for its employees in the UAE, including cabin crew and other customer-facing staff.
With the vaccination drive, the firm’s subsidiaries Emirates Airline and dnata have become among the first transport and air services companies in the world to offer staff the option to get protection against coronavirus.
The state-owned international aviation holding company, whose revenue as of the end of September 2020 plunged by 75 percent to $3.2 billion on the back of dismal air traffic, has more than 80,000 employees worldwide.
Its airline had halted most passenger services at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and laid off some staff, following a global lockdown and subsequent decline in travel demand worldwide.
Emirates has so far redeployed aircraft to more than 100 destinations since the resumption of its operations last year.
The vaccine rollout has been welcomed by players in the aviation and travel industry, citing that it could help revive travel demand.
Emirates’ vaccination drive started on Monday morning, with the help of the Dubai Health Authority and the Ministry of Health and Prevention. Priority has been given to frontline aviation staff, including cabin crew members, flight deck and roles focused on operations.
The holding firm is administering both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinopharm vaccines, both have been approved for use by the UAE health authorities.
A step forward
The vaccination rollout is considered a step forward, helping to safeguard the health and wellbeing of aviation employees who serve airline passengers and facilitate the movement of essential goods globally, according to a statement released by Dubai Media Office.
The UAE is ranked second-highest in the world for vaccination rates, with more than 19.04 does administered for every 100 people, according to the data compiled by Our World data, a research website based at Oxford University.
The UAE is aiming to inoculate more than 50 percent of its population by the end of March.
(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)
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© ZAWYA 2021