An Ilyushin IL 76TD-90VD cargo plane operated by Volga-Dnepr took off from Leipzig/Halle Airport (LEJ) heading for Ashgabat in Turkmenistan today. It was carrying 35 tonnes of vaccines, which are being transported on behalf of a UN organisation.
“As Europe’s fourth-largest air freight hub, Leipzig/Halle Airport is playing an increasingly important role in transhipping medical relief aid and temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals. We want to further enhance this function and therefore agreed a cooperation arrangement with our partner, the Volga-Dnepr Group, this year too,” says Mario Patyk, head of business development cargo/logistics.
The carrier reports that thanks to the fact that the Airport’s subsidiary PortGround has CEIV Pharma certification, Leipzig/Halle Airport is able to handle time-critical and temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical shipments round the clock. The subsidiary of Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG, which specialises in handling aircraft and freight, was also responsible for handling and loading the vaccines.
The Volga-Dnepr Group and the airport signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen the humanitarian hub at Leipzig Halle at the beginning of 2021. Two relief aid flights already took off from Leipzig/Halle heading for Windhoek in Namibia in August. The Antonov 124 aircraft were carrying urgently needed medical relief aid, including masks and ventilators, for the country that has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the aid consignment funded by the German government consisted of more than 600 pallets, which were flown to southern Africa by the Russian airline, Volga-Dnepr.