How the initiative started
The highly transmissible Delta variant has caused a spike in Covid-19 cases across the world, including the Southeast Asian region. As Singapore and Indonesia enjoy strong aviation links, the Changi Airport community rallied together to support their fellow neighbouring nation in the fight against Covid-19.
“The team worked with the Indonesia Embassy in Singapore to understand what was needed. Through the discussions, we found that oxygen concentrators would be the most beneficial,” shares Ang Siew Min, Senior Vice President of Airport Operations at Changi Airport Group (CAG).
Oxygen concentrators take in ambient air and remove nitrogen from it. This results in oxygen-enriched air that can be used by patients with low oxygen levels—a symptom often experienced by those with Covid-19. Unlike some oxygenation methods, concentrators do not require tank refills, and are therefore a more sustainable source of oxygen for patients.
Coordinating this effort were CAG divisions from Airport Operations, Air Hub, People Team, Enterprise Performance & Development, and the Corporate cluster. With a worldwide shortage of oxygen concentrators due to high demand amidst the pandemic, the team faced difficulties in finding a readily available supply. After casting the net wide, they were able to source directly from a reputable manufacturer in Los Angeles who was willing to fit the order into their production schedule and expedite fulfilment.
Lee Ching Wern, General Manager, Airport Operations Management, also shared that as the team organised this effort, more than 30 airport partners from various sectors ranging from retail to engineering and construction, raised their hands to take part and contribute. “We even saw some groups of airport staff from various companies chipping in to contribute medical supplies in their personal capacities,” remarked Ching Wern.
Eventually, Changi Foundation, airport partners, and airport staff pooled together donations of some 1,380 oxygen concentrators, along with related accessories like nasal cannulas and connectors to send to Indonesia.
Transporting across geographical and time zones
The oxygen concentrators had to find their way from Los Angeles to Singapore and finally, Jakarta. Fortunately, the team was able to find cargo and logistics partners who were willing to support the shipment over thousands of miles across continents. Cargolux and CEVA Logistics, handled the LAX-SIN leg, while Singapore Airlines and SATS, handled the SIN-JKT leg of the journey.
Elaine Low, Regional Managing Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Region of CEVA Logistics shared how honoured and proud the company was to be part of this meaningful initiative, in collaboration with the airfreight community. “We wish our friends and colleagues in Indonesia well,” she added.