MH604 pilot: It was the most nail-biting hour in my career

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Besides flying the plane, Hamdan also needed to ensure the correct temperature was maintained in the aircraft at all times, so as not to affect the effectiveness of the vaccines which must be stored at -70 degrees Celcius.

The Malaysia Airlines flight operations director admitted he was a little nervous about today’s task.

“When I thought about the Covid-19 vaccine supply on the plane, I was worried that it (the supply) could get spoilt … Alhamdulillah, the vaccine supply has now reached Malaysia,” the pilot told Bernama after landing the plane.

Flight MH604, which carried 312,390 doses of Covid-19 vaccine, landed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 10.07am.

The Passenger-to-Cargo (P2C) flight, operated by MAB Kargo Sdn Bhd (MASKargo) – the cargo arm of national carrier Malaysia Airlines Bhd – used an Airbus 330-300 aircraft decorated with ‘Jalur Gemilang’ livery.

Hamdan said he and five other crew members of the flight, namely an assistant pilot, two cabin crew, an officer from MASKargo and an engineer, left for Singapore at 6am today, and arrived there an hour later.

According to him, it took about two hours to transfer the Covid-19 vaccines onto the aircraft before it was allowed to take off again at about 9am.

“When I arrived at KLIA, I felt jubilant, overwhelmed and excited to have successfully brought the Covid-19 vaccines to the country,” he added. – BERNAMA