Malaysia has received its first batch of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines this morning which was flown in from Singapore via Malaysia Airlines. If you’ve been following the news and live stream, you’ve probably seen the Airbus A330 aircraft with the Jalur Gemilang and “Member of OneWorld” on the fuselage.
For those who are not familiar, OneWorld is a global airlines alliance that currently consists of 13 members which include British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, Finnair and our very own flag carrier. Malaysia Airlines became a full member of OneWorld since February 2013.
As a member of the network, Malaysia Airlines customers can enjoy seamless connectivity with smoother transfers and bookings with other member airlines. Passengers can also earn Enrich Miles and Elite Sectors when they fly on OneWorld partner flights.
On top of that, if you’re on a higher tier in the Enrich frequent flyer programme, you can enjoy premium perks when you fly on a OneWorld network airline. This could include access to business lounge, priority check-in and baggage handling and priority boarding. You can find out more about the benefits here.
With 13 full members, OneWorld is currently the 3rd largest airline alliance in the world. The biggest currently is Star Alliance which has 26 full members which include Singapore Airlines, Air China, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, EVA Air and Thai Airways. This is followed by SkyTeam which has 19 full members such as KLM, Air France, China Airlines, Garuda Indonesia and Aeroflot.
Apart from the Airbus A330 shown above, Malaysia Airlines also has other aircrafts including its smaller Boeing 737 with the “oneworld” livery and MAS isn’t the only airline to do so.
Other members including Qatar Airways, British Airlines, Japan Airlines, American Airlines and Cathay Pacific also have aircrafts on their fleet that feature the “oneworld” livery.
So why are we bringing up this OneWorld alliance all of a sudden? Well, apparently there are some baseless conspiracy theories circulating on social media that links the vaccines to some illuminati group. Some have alleged that “OneWorld” is linked to the “New World Order“. These speculations are totally not true but what’s worrying is there are people out there who actually believe in these conspiracy theories.
Even the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Khairy Jamaluddin, had to voice out that vaccines are not “dajjal” (or Antichrist). He also explained that OneWorld is an airline alliance in his tweet.
As mentioned by the Minister, buying the vaccines was the easy part but getting the vaccines into peoples’ arms would be the challenge. To achieve herd immunity, we would need to get as many as people vaccinated and that also includes the migrant communities. The biggest challenge is to convince COVID-19 vaccine hesitant groups that have doubts on the safety and importance of the vaccines.
Although the COVID-19 death rate is relatively low in Malaysia, vaccinations are crucial as there are also long term effects on asymptomatic carriers. Ultimately, you don’t want to get COVID and suffer the long term complications.
If everything goes according to plan, Malaysia could potentially complete its vaccination program by the end of 2021. This is assuming that we hit a peak rate of 150-160K vaccinations per day and the vaccine supplies arrive according to its agreed timeline.
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