With an extensive network spanning four continents, 225 international destinations and 26 domestic destinations, Saudia Cargo is in a strong position to utilise its resources and networks to aid with global vaccine distribution and has done just that.
“We see our role today as Saudia Cargo to be a vital one in supporting the global efforts in securing the supply chains and ensuring the cold ones, wherever our
assets, expertise, and resourcefulness could add value,” explained Teddy Zebitz, chief air cargo officer, Saudia Cargo.
“The pandemic took the entire world by surprise, reshuffling operational structures across industries, and requiring a different forward-thinking mindset in approaching challenges that weren’t present yesterday, and other challenges that are still not seen today, yet might be affecting us tomorrow.”
Saudia Cargo started by securing Saudi Arabia with the vaccines, which at the time of speaking to Zebitz, was 4.7 million, a number he noted is “increasing day by day.”
“Our next step was to ensure that our agility, location, and capabilities are being utilised to support the global efforts in rolling out the vaccines distribution to help end the acute phase of the pandemic and support countries throughout the world to rebuild their economies.
“Through partnerships and commitment to this mission, Saudi Cargo has been one of the first air cargo companies to take part in the epic worldwide rescue mission initiated by UNICEF to support the fair delivery of vaccines to each part of the globe. It’s a role we are proud to play, and more than ready to deliver on.”
Ensuring all countries receive the vaccine will play an imperative role in passenger flights returning to pre-pandemic volumes which, as IATA reported, fell to their lowest ever in 2020.
“One of the measures taken by the government was to cancel all passenger flights temporarily in order to prevent the spread of the virus and Saudia Cargo has taken advantage of this by utilising passenger flights to support its operational capacity and ship more medical supplies into the Kingdom,” said Zebitz.
Though national and regional lockdowns have limited people flying, the same is not to be said for animals. The Saudi Cup, which was held in February in Riyadh, is the world’s most valuable horse race.
“This competition has a strong relation to our culture and heritage and our mission was to ensure this event remains a great success considering the current global situation, without compromising the international standards this race has always been held upon.
“As a result, Saudi Cargo was proud to be an active Platinum partner to the race and has carried 77 of the finest and most valuable international horses from 13 worldwide destinations. This process required close monitoring, weeks of planning to provide the needed animal care standard in every stage of the transportation process.
“These mesmerising animals were transported under the impeccable Saudia Cargo’s Live Animal air transportation standards so they would arrive in the best shape possible for the maximum performance everyone was anticipating.”
A new benchmark of excellence
“This pandemic has been a threat to world’s stability and flow of life which has stifled global trade and economic value. While it was a relief to witness the supply chains holding intact against this global threat to humanity, resilience and forward thinking have proven to be not just important or differentiating factors, but essential pillars to the industry and mankind,” said Zebtiz.
“2020 was an extraordinary time and this year is different to any other, in which we will take on more challenges to surpass last year’s performance.
“We are anticipating more regional and global partnerships and agreements this year, which allow us to further expand our operations and create more value. We are also looking at a new holistic work frame and contingency plans that incorporate more strict and precautious measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 and protect the safety our community, our personnel and everyone involved in our operations.
“We are focusing to set this year as a new benchmark of excellence and we believe with our non-stop developments and enhancements we will achieve remarkable results.”