SEPANG (Bernama): "I am very proud and overwhelmed," said Nur Waie Hidayah Mohamad Rasidin, the sole female pilot among the five responsible for navigating Flight MH319 carrying the first batch of Sinovac vaccine from China to Malaysia on Saturday (Feb 27).
Nur Waie, 23, said she was proud to be part of the aviation industry.
"There is no difference being a male or female (pilot). We were all given the same training and went through the same procedure," she told Bernama after landing the plane at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here.
The envirotainer – a temperature-controlled container – with 200 litres of the vaccine arrived at 9 am at KLIA from Beijing in the Malaysia Airlines Airbus 330-300 aircraft, bearing the livery of the Jalur Gemilang (national flag).
Nur Waie, who joined Malaysia Airlines in 2017, said the passenger-to-cargo flight left Beijing Capital International Airport at 2.30am Malaysian time.
Nur Waie said the team had been making preparations for the past five months, including learning about the envirotainer which is able to maintain a temperature of between 2°-8°C.
The other four pilots were Datuk Captain Tengku Ahmad Farizanudean Al-Haj, Chin Vun Ben, Captain Mohamed Razif Abdul Aziz and Captain Khairul Syukri Khali.
Meanwhile, Razif, 53, said all five of them were given the responsibility to navigate the two-way flight for added safety.
He explained that the flight left Kuala Lumpur at 7pm Friday and arrived in Beijing at 1am.
"The vaccine was loaded straight away and we flew back from Beijing at 2.30 am," he said.
The Selangor native said the loading took quite a long time because the temperature in Beijing was below 0°C on Friday.
Despite having 31 years of experience in the world of aviation, he admitted that he was a little worried because he did not want anything untoward to happen.
The Sinovac vaccine is the second Covid-19 vaccine to arrive in Malaysia after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. – Bernama