The Malta Independent 26 January 2022, Wednesday

Air Malta to carry AstraZeneca vaccines to Rwanda, operating its longest non-stop flight tonight

Thursday, 14 October 2021, 17:49 Last update: about 4 months ago

Air Malta will transport 135,690 AstraZeneca vaccines to Kigali, Rwanda's capital, in what will be the longest and farthest non-stop flight.

In a statement, the airline said that the charter flight to Kigali will carry 135,690 AstraZeneca vaccines donated by the Government of Malta to the African nation.

"The seven-hour long direct flight, covering 2,426 nautical miles, will depart Malta at 2 am on Friday morning and land at Kigali at 9:00am. Flight KM7510 will be flown by the airline's youngest Airbus A320neo aircraft (9H-NED). Such long-distance non-stop flights can now be operated with the airline's new A320neo aircraft that offer additional range, 20% lower fuel costs, are more environmentally friendly and have a 50% less noise footprint then the older Airbus A320ceo models."

Commenting on this humanitarian mission, Air Malta's Executive Chairman, David G. Curmi said: "We are proud to again offer our assistance to transport this humanitarian assistance donated by the Maltese people to an African nation. The WHO recently stated that Africa needs seven times more covid vaccines than it currently receives to meet its target to fully vaccinate 70% of its population by September 2022. As an airline that believes in equality and solidarity, it is our duty to assist in such situations and be part of this global effort to help other parts of the world achieve immunity against this disease."

 Air Malta will continue to be of strategic importance to the Islands by offering its support when the need arises," he said.

 During the pandemic the airline was instrumental to the Maltese Islands by carrying hundreds of tons of cargo that included vaccines, medicines, medical supplies, and personal protective equipment. The airline has also taken an active role to assist the Maltese government to distribute Covid vaccines abroad. Last August, the airline transported 40,000 vaccines and a similar number of rapid testing kits to Libya.

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