Feature, Freight News, Air

Emirates sets up mega vaccine hub

[ October 22, 2020   //   ]

Emirates SkyCargo says it will set up the world’s largest GDP- compliant air cargo hub in Dubai for global distribution of the Covid vaccine.

It will be the world’s first dedicated airside cargo hub for the vaccine and will be created by reopening the Emirates SkyCentral DWC cargo terminal in Dubai South to serve as a dedicated anchor hub for cold chain storage and distribution.

Emirates has also set up a dedicated rapid response team to coordinate requests from partners in the international vaccine distribution ecosystem and to streamline its response to vaccine transportation requests.

Emirates chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: “Dubai is well positioned to serve as a gateway and distribution hub for COVID-19 vaccines to the rest of the world. We have the infrastructure and logistics connections, and a geographic location that puts markets representing more than two-thirds of the world’s population within an eight-hour flying radius. Setting up a dedicated airside hub for COVID-19 vaccines is a keystone project harnessing our network, reach and competencies to positively impact the lives of people around the world.”

Emirates SkyCentral DWC has over 4,000 square metres of temperature controlled GDP (Good Distribution Practice, the pharma industry’s logistics standard) certified dedicated pharma storage area allowing for large scale storage and distribution of vaccines. The facility can hold around 10 million vials at a 2-8 degrees Celsius temperature range at any time.

It also has one of the world’s largest fleet of Cool Dollys to protect temperature sensitive cargo during transit between the aircraft and cargo terminal, a large number of temperature controlled trucking docks and the terminal is close to the aircraft parking gates for rapid and efficient clearance of cargo for further distribution.

In addition to cold storage, Emirates SkyCargo will also offer dedicated zones for value-added services such as re-icing and repackaging of vaccines for global distribution for its customers.

Since 2016, Emirates has invested in its capabilities to transport temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals includinmg the introduction of the Emirates Pharma specialised product and the development of dedicated GDP certified infrastructure at Dubai and major origin and destination points under its pharma corridors programme that currently covers more than 30 cities. Emirates SkyCargo has moved more than a quarter million tonnes of pharmaceutical cargo in the last four years.