Dubai Airports and the operator of India’s Hyderabad airport, GMR Hyderabad, have signed an MoU to set up an air freight corridor to aid in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, following India’s recent approval of two vaccine candidates for emergency use.
The vaccine corridor called ‘HYDXB-VAXCOR’ between Dubai and Hyderabad will connect leading vaccine manufacturers in India with markets around the world through the DXB cargo hub.
The companies said the agreement will lead to customised and simplified processes and infrastructural support to streamline the vaccine transport, which include working on an IT solution that will provide end-to-end visibility of vaccine shipments.
“A major surge in demand for the efficient, safe and reliable global distribution of high volumes of COVID-19 vaccines is expected in the coming months,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
“We wanted to be ready to respond to and accommodate that demand,” he added.
India currently has the second-highest number of coronavirus infections in the world.
With five major vaccine producers in the vicinity, Hyderabad is emerging as one of the world’s vaccine capitals. Pradeep Panicker, CEO of Hyderabad airport, said that the air cargo hub has always been the preferred gateway for India’s vaccine exports.
“We are significantly upgrading our handling capacities for Covid-19 vaccine shipments requiring cold to ultra-cold temperature ranges and becoming India’s largest air cargo centre both for export/imports and domestic distribution of the vaccine,” Panicker added.
The air freight corridor between DXB and HYD is expected to handle up to 300 tonnes of vaccines per day, according to Reuters.