Virgin Atlantic, Collinson, and PATA Unite to Tackle Vaccine Inequity
Bangkok, Thailand, December 16, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Travel industry leaders have united to support the Go Give One campaign to help fund COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. Virgin Atlantic has joined travel services specialist Collinson and the Pacific Asia Travel Association as part of the Global Travel Sector Vaccine Coalition. Together, they will use their collective reach to play a part in ensuring everyone, no matter where they are in the world, has access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
The travel industry has been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the emergence of a new variant and renewed travel bans, it is urgent to address low vaccination rates in middle and low-income countries.
Anil Soni, Chief Executive Officer of the WHO Foundation, said: “Vaccine inequity is morally unjust and economically and epidemiologically self-defeating. We need everyone to help protect the world. We are thrilled to see this leadership from industry heavyweights to get vaccines to people who need them most. The Global Travel Sector Vaccine Coalition is a great example of how companies can join forces to make a global difference. We invite other members of the travel industry to join us to power vaccines around the world. Together, we can all play our part to ensure vaccines for everyone, everywhere.”
The Collinson COVID-19 Testing Initiative first launched in October 2020 and is now at several major UK airports. Listening to their experience, WHO Foundation and Collinson formed the Travel Coalition in recognition of how the industry can make a real difference.
David Evans, Joint CEO at Collinson, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the WHO Foundation’s Go Give One campaign. The travel and tourism industry knows only too well how important it is for everyone, everywhere to have access to vaccines if we are to end the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve seen first-hand how our industry has had to adapt to ensure the safety of people and organisations in this new reality and are calling on the sector now to join us as part of the Travel Coalition. There’s a true power in numbers to getting this done, and we’re urging our customers to give what they can, as well as asking other travel companies to join forces with us. It’s time to stamp out vaccine inequality, so support however, you can, especially during this time of year – the season for giving back.”
Virgin Atlantic is supporting the Go Give One campaign through onboard donations this December and with an additional donation from the Virgin Atlantic Foundation.
Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer, Virgin Atlantic, commented: “It’s evident that COVID-19 is something we must learn to live with. We know that en masse vaccine programmes work, thanks to the success we’ve seen in developed nations around the world, but unless we support lower-income countries in accessing these vaccines, we will not beat this global threat. By supporting the WHO Foundation in raising funds for the Go Give One campaign through our onboard donations this month, our teams and customers can play a part in helping to close the gap. The WHO Foundation and Virgin Atlantic are grateful for every contribution.
“It costs just £4 to buy a vaccine, meaning even the smallest donations can go a long way. Successful vaccination programmes are the route out of the pandemic and we must all play our part in combating this virus; together we can do our bit to offer vaccines to the world and beat COVID-19.”
Members of the travel industry can join the Global Travel Sector Vaccine Coalition to power vaccines by making corporate contributions, running match giving schemes, and engaging their customers, employees, and clients in the Go Give One campaign.
Liz Ortiguera, PATA Chief Executive Officer, said on tackling vaccine equity as a Travel Coalition member, “We at PATA are calling on our travel sector colleagues to support vaccine equity because no one is safe until everyone is safe. As of the beginning of December 2021, only a little over 8% of people in low income countries have received a first vaccine dose. Individuals, organizations, and governments need to rally to accelerate the recovery. The travel sector has played a critical role in responding to the crisis already – from serving as quarantine hotels to providing staff for field hospitals. We can continue to help enable the solution to this crisis by supporting the vaccine efforts of the WHO Foundation for COVAX AMC.”
Go Give One is a COVID-19 fundraising campaign with no borders. Created by the World Health Organization’s WHO Foundation, the campaign calls on everyone, everywhere to play their part in helping to vaccinate the world. Every $5 / £4 donated funds a vaccine, through the Gavi COVAX AMC, which buys COVID-19 vaccines for low-and middle -income countries in order to help protect those the most vulnerable and at risk groups.
Alongside the Global Travel Sector Vaccine Coalition, Go Give One harnesses the power of companies to engage their employees, customers, partners, and networks to offer the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to vaccine equity. Partners of the Go Give One campaign are making corporate or match donations, donating a portion of sales from a product line, engaging their employees or clients in campaigns, offering peer-to-peer challenges, using their network to scale vaccine equity around the world.
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for-profit membership association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its more than 650 member organisations, including 82 government, state and city tourism bodies, 14 international airlines and airports, 71 hospitality organisations and 75 educational institutions, as well as thousands of young tourism professional (YTP) members across the world. The PATA network also embraces the grassroots activism the PATA Chapters and Student Chapters, who organise numerous travel industry training programmes and business development events across the world. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 32 local PATA Chapters worldwide, while hundreds of students are members of the 28 PATA Student Chapters globally. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing and London.
About Go Give One
Go Give One, created by the WHO Foundation, is a fundraising campaign with no borders to help vaccinate millions of people around the world. The money raised through the campaign will go directly to the global COVID-19 vaccine financing mechanism – Gavi COVAX AMC – which purchases COVID-19 vaccines for middle and lower-income countries, helping to protect everyone from COVID-19. Our aim is to get 50 million people from around the world to take part in this campaign, showing a stance of solidarity and togetherness against an issue facing us all. We are calling on everyone, everywhere to give $5/£4 to buy a vaccine for someone who wouldn’t otherwise have access to one.
About the WHO Foundation
Established in 2020 as an independent entity, the WHO Foundation complements and strengthens the work of WHO and its global network of partners by mobilizing new funding from diverse sources—including philanthropists, corporate entities, and the public—to drive innovation and transform the global health ecosystem. By addressing the world’s most urgent health issues in a new, transformative, catalytic way, the WHO Foundation aims to provide everyone, everywhere, a healthier, more equitable future. Together, we have so much to achieve.
About Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson in 1984, with innovation and amazing customer service at its core. In 2021, Virgin Atlantic was voted Britain’s only Global Five Star Airline by APEX for the fifth year running in the Official Airline Ratings. Headquartered in London, it employs 6,500 people worldwide, flying customers to 27 destinations across four continents. Alongside shareholder and Joint Venture partner Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic operates a leading transatlantic network, with onward connections to over 200 cities around the world. On 3 February 2020, Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic launched an expanded Joint Venture, offering a comprehensive route network, convenient flight schedules, competitive fares and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, including the ability to earn and redeem miles across all carriers. Sustainability remains central to the airline and since September 2019, Virgin Atlantic has welcomed eight brand new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, helping to transform the fleet into one of the youngest, quietest, and most fuel efficient in the sky. By 2022, the airline will operate a streamlined fleet of 37 twin engine aircraft following the retirement of its B747-400s and A340-600s, making its simplified fleet 10% more efficient than before the Covid-19 crisis impacted.
Collinson is a global leader in the provision of traveller experiences including medical and security assistance and travel medical services. Its travel medical and security assistance business unit has more than 55 years’ experience in the delivery of international medical assistance and emergency care, including the handling of pandemics such as Ebola, Zika, and the coronavirus. Annually, Collinson responds to over 95,000 emergency calls, manages over 40,000 medical cases, and conducts over 3,000 aero-medical evacuations across the 170 countries it serves.
Collinson has over 2,000 employees operating out of 17 locations globally, all working to deliver a broad range of traveller experiences that ensure the safety, welfare, and comfort of 55 million people as they travel for business and leisure around the world. Collinson’s traveller experiences include the world’s leading airport lounge and experiences programme, Priority Pass, as well as travel insurance, identity assistance, flight delay, international health and travel risk management solutions. We work with clients including: American Express, Cathay Pacific, CBA, Mastercard, UnionPay and Visa.