Singapore Airlines hopes to be the world’s first fully vaccinated airline

(CNN) – Singapore’s national airline hopes to become the first airline in the world to vaccinate all its crew members against Covid-19.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has confirmed to CNN Travel that all its crew members, including pilots, gate agents, flight attendants and anyone whose job requires contact with the public, have been offered free vaccinations against the coronavirus by the Singapore government.

“We are grateful to the Singapore government for making the aviation sector a priority in the country’s vaccination exercise,” the airline’s CEO Goh Choon Phong said in a statement emailed to the entire company on Jan. 18.

“This reflects the importance of the sector and the crucial role we play both in Singapore’s economic recovery and in the fight against the pandemic.”

According to the airline, 5,200 SIA employees have already registered to receive their shots. The inoculations will begin in a few days.

Phong, along with Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung, was one of the first citizens of the city-state to get vaccinated. He received the first of his two shots and reports that “the procedure was painless and uncomplicated.”

Once vaccinated, crew members will be subject to less screening and fewer safety measures related to the coronavirus. For example, flight crew who are tested on the seventh day after their return to Singapore will be exempted from this test in the future.

Singapore’s response to the pandemic has been very successful due to border closures and a national contract tracing application. The country has had 59,113 confirmed cases of the virus and only 29 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Even so, citizens of the city-state expressed their interest in being able to travel again. A much-touted “travel bubble” with Hong Kong was postponed indefinitely in December when Hong Kong saw a surge in virus cases.
The annual Henley Passport Index ranked Singapore second in the world — just one point behind next-door Japan — in passport holdings. Singaporeans can enter 190 countries or territories around the world without the need for a visa.

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