In the last few months, Aerolíneas Argentinas has flown ten times between Buenos Aires and Moscow, carrying over 3.66 million COVID-19 vaccination doses from Russia to Argentina. More have been flown from Beijing. The airline has taken a pivotal role in helping the vaccination process in its country.
How are the flights taking place?
The Argentinian Government has mobilised its advantage of having a State carrier with a long-haul fleet. Aerolíneas Argentinas has ten Airbus A330 aircraft, which it is currently using to bring home COVID-19 vaccinations.
Aerolíneas can deploy its long-haul fleet on this mission because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means the airline is not flying a full commercial schedule. It only seldomly uses its A330 aircraft on flights to Bogota, Cancun, Sao Paulo, Madrid, Miami, and Punta Cana, according to Cirium.
So, the aircraft has pursued a more significant role by taking the COVID-19 vaccines to Argentina. Pablo Ceriani, Aerolíneas Argentinas CEO, said,
“The logistical effort that we do to make these flights can be done because there’s an airline ready to serve the Argentinian people. Each flight that lands with vaccines allow continuity to the vaccination plan of the National Government.”
Aerolíneas’ first flight to Moscow took place on December 22, 2020. Since then, the airline has flown nine times to Moscow (it has one more ready to go in the coming days), and once to Beijing.
Details about the flights
Aerolíneas has four flight series numbers registered for the trip between Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza International Airport and Moscow’s Sheremetyevo. One is AR1060-AR1061. The airline has operated five flights with these numbers between Buenos Aires and Moscow, the last taking place on March 18, according to stats provided by RadarBox.com.
The other flight series numbers are AR1062-AR1063, AR1064-AR1065, and AR1066-AR1067.
This last flight departed at 02:04 local time. It will land at Sheremetyevo International Airport at around 00:30 local time, according to a statement from Aerolíneas Argentinas.
Between the nine first flights, Aerolíneas Argentinas has carried 3,669,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine.
And what about China?
On February 25, Aerolíneas Argentinas also flew to Beijing, China. It took back to Argentina 904,000 total doses of the Chinese vaccine manufactured by Sinopharm.
Therefore, Aerolíneas Argentinas has carried 4,577,000 total vaccines to Argentina. So far, the Argentinian Government has vaccinated over 3.64 million people throughout this country.
Arribo de 65 mil dosis de la vacuna CanSino Biologics contra el #COVID19
27 de marzo 2021. pic.twitter.com/Zww1lQJH4l
— Gobierno de México (@GobiernoMX) March 27, 2021
Carrying the vaccinations in South America
In the last few months, a few South American airlines have worked towards distributing the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the continent. The likes of LATAM, Azul, GOL, AeroUnión, and Aeromexico have joined the efforts. Plus, a few non-Latin American airlines have also helped with this. For instance, KLM Cargo has been active in the region, and Cathay Pacific aircraft have been spotted in Mexico City, bringing many COVID-19 vaccines.
There are many stories about airlines bringing Latin America the vaccines. For instance, two Brazilian airlines joined forces in a feel-good story, when GOL carried LATAM passengers’ luggage, allowing LATAM to handle 2,700 kilograms of vaccines.
There are other stories of carriers flying to unlikely destinations, like Azul landing in Bombay, India, and Aerolíneas Argentinas going to Cyprus.
What do you think of the Latin American airlines’ efforts to bring home the COVID-19 vaccines? Let us know in the comments.