Fresh from kickstarting the vaccine drive across India last week, SpiceJet has drafted two more wide-body planes—B767 and A330—to its cargo fleet, to meet the demand for long-haul routes to Europe and North America.
“The need for wide-body planes to deliver vaccines and other important cargo has never been more important than today,” said Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director of SpiceJet.
The carrier’s dedicated fleet for cargo now counts 19, including five wide-body jets, five Boeing 737 freighters and nine Q-400s. SpiceJet says this will ensure secure transport of Covid-19 vaccines to both domestic and international.
The move comes as the Indian carrier made tie-ups with local airports in India and Brussels airport, which are key gateways for the Covid-19 vaccine transport between India, Europe and other regions.
Also read: SpiceJet moves first batch of Covid-19 shots across India
It also signed MoUs with the airport operators in Gujarat and Hyderabad to connect the cold chain for vaccine distribution. Airport operator Adani Ahmedabad International Airport Limited (AAIAL) said it will handle warehousing of Covid-19 vaccines and provide temperature-controlled facility, plug points in the warehouse and airside and maintain the cold chain from acceptance to the airside and vice versa. SpiceXpress meanwhile will provide the air transport.
As early as December, SpiceJet has been coordinating with other players involved in the transport of vaccines. It made partnerships with Om Logistics and Snowman Logistics for trucking services to secure the last-mile and first-mile of the journey.
Last week, SpiceJet delivered 4 million doses weighing around 11 tonnes on day 1 of India’s vaccine drive The first consignment travelled from Pune to Delhi, followed by multiple flights to other Indian cities.