In the run up to World Health Day (7 April), Emirates SkyCargo has become the first airline cargo carrier in the world to have transported more than 50 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines on its flights. The carrier has also transported more than 100 tonnes of syringes across the world to support the delivery of vaccines.
Since the start of international distribution late last year, Emirates SkyCargo has transported over 220 tonnes of COVID-19 vaccines, equivalent to more than 50 million doses, on more than 150 flights from manufacturing locations to 50 destinations on its network through Dubai. Overall, the carrier has transported six different kinds of COVD-19 vaccines.
Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president, Cargo, said: “Emirates SkyCargo is proud to have reached the 50 million COVID-19 vaccine delivery milestone just ahead of World Health Day. As a socially responsible global air cargo carrier, our actions over the last year have always been directed at helping communities across the world, and especially those in developing nations, recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic. We have been leading the global air cargo industry’s efforts and working with our partner organisations in Dubai to rapidly distribute COVID-19 vaccines through Dubai to the rest of the world.”
Emirates SkyCargo has remained agile and dynamic throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, responding quickly to maintain international connectivity for essential goods across the world. The carrier was one of the first in the world to deploy passenger aircraft for cargo only flights in order to transport PPE, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and food. Over one year, Emirates SkyCargo had operated more than 27,800 flights and transported over 100,000 tonnes of essential commodities.
As early as October 2020, Emirates SkyCargo set up an EU GDP certified dedicated airside hub for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines at its hub in Dubai. With its sophisticated infrastructure and extensive storage capacity, Emirates SkyCargo positioned itself to fly in large quantities of COVID-19 vaccines from manufacturing locations, store the vaccines in Dubai and then regularly replenish vaccine supplies to developing nations with limited cold chain infrastructure through its cargo flights.
In January 2021, Emirates SkyCargo joined hands with leading Dubai-based entities, DP World, International Humanitarian City and Dubai Airports to form the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance to harness the strategic strengths of Dubai as a major global distribution hub for COVID-19 vaccines. In February 2021, Emirates SkyCargo signed an MoU with UNICEF to prioritise transportation of COVID-19 vaccines in support of the COVAX facility which is aimed at equitable global distribution of vaccines.