Emirates’ one-of-a-kind flight EK2021 carried fully vaccinated crew members and passengers onboard. With close to 400 fully vaccinated passengers onboard, the flight illustrates the confidence and undiminished excitement for air travel.
Flight EK2021 made a journey across seven emirates, to celebrate the UAE’s progress in vaccinating its citizens and residents. I was onboard this special flight operated by Emirates' latest A380-800, registration A6-EVN, with a special decal "Choose to Vaccinate".
The fare was 1,000 AED for Economy Class and 2,000 AED for Business Class on this special flight.
All EK2021 passengers were provided rapid COVID-19 PCR tests at check-in. The results were available in just 15 minutes.
All passengers, regardless of class of travel, were treated to access to the Emirates Business Class lounge before departure. I met up with many of my fellow AvGeeks and frequent flyers. Events like this create a great opportunity for fellow like minded aviation passengers to meet and socialize.
EK2021 was commanded by Captain Ahmed Al Obeidli (UAE), First Officer Ramon Wilde (Spain) and supported by A380 Deputy Chief Captain Ricky Garala.
We took off at 12:45 from runway 12R. Cruising low at 13,000 ft over Sharjah, Northern Emirates, Fujairah, Al Ain and Abu Dhabi. Flight time was over 3 hours and we did numerous loops on the same route, to allow enough time for the meal service and for passengers to fully enjoy the view.
Why still wear mask if you're fully vaccinated?
I spoke with some of the health experts onboard about this, the collective opinion is that no vaccine is 100% effective. Wearing a mask is just a pre-cautionary measure. Most vaccinated people still have to wear masks in public spaces on the ground, so the same rules were being applied on the flight. Once herd immunity is achieved, there may be further relaxing of rules. However, don't expect mask usage to go away in the near future.
You may notice that flight attendants on this flight were no longer wearing full PPE, but were still wearing masks and gloves.
Lunch was served with a choice of chicken breast or prawn machbous.
The rest of the flight was spent socializing with passengers; many of which hadn't haven't flown for over a year and were delighted to return to flying after being fully vaccinated.
A flight like this provided many flyers with a great opportunity to enjoy and socialize. Time was well spent at 39,000 ft.
Before landing, every passenger was provided with a special flight certificate to take home with them. We landed around 16:30 local time, with a total flight time of 3 hours and 45 minutes.
I think flight EK2021 represents a positive step towards the normality of travel. The flight illustrates the confidence and undiminished excitement for air travel. Aviation has been through an unprecedented crisis in the past 12 months, but we are now seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. I saw a lot of enthusiasm on-board and especially in the onboard lounge on the upper deck, scenes there have almost returned to the pre-covid days!
All proceeds from EK2021 have been donated to the Emirates Airline Foundation, the airline’s non-profit charity organisation which supports projects around the world.