Emirates SkyCargo is further strengthening its pharma and vaccine handling capabilities in Dubai with the extension of its fully automated cool room with 94 airline pallet positions at its GDP-certified dedicated pharma facility at Dubai International Airport (DXB).
The extended cool room will provide an additional 2,600 square metres of temperature-controlled environment (2-25°C) for the storage and handling of vaccines and other pharmaceuticals at the carrier’s purpose-built GDP certified facility. The new extension can hold an estimated 60 to 90 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines at one time.
The Dubai-based airline has been at the forefront of the worldwide distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and has already breached the 75 million mark on more than 250 flights to over 60 destinations since late last year.
Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president for Cargo is proud of the feat after moving over 350 tonnes of life-saving jabs but he thinks the road is still head.
“We anticipate that there will be an increase in demand to transport vaccines to developing nations during the second half of the year. We have seen a ramping up of COVID-19 vaccine volumes that were transported over the last few weeks in line with increased manufacturing. We expect to reach the 100 million doses milestone well before the end of this month,” he added.
Early preparations have paid well for Emirates, and the airline has formed alliances and joined forces with Unicef to help speed up vaccine transport. Aside from setting up a dedicated GDP certified airside hub in Dubai, the carrier has over 20,000 square metres of infrastructure for storing and handling vaccines and more than 50 cool dollies dedicated for pharmaceuticals at the hub.
Emirates recently set up a ‘humanitarian airbridge’ initiative to transport urgent cargo to India. Under the initiative, the air cargo is offering any available cargo capacity on its flights from Dubai to nine destinations in India, free of charge to nongovernment organisations.