Emirates SkyCargo has signed an agreement with UNICEF to prioritise the transport of COVID-19 vaccines, essential medicines, medical devices and other critical supplies to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement is the latest in a series of measures undertaken by the freight division of Emirates to support global communities in recovering from the devastating impact of COVID-19.
The Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative spearheaded by UNICEF brings together a number of partners collectively capable of distributing essential supplies to more than 100 markets in support of the COVAX Facility, the global effort aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. UNICEF’s Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative will also act as a blueprint for collective global partnership in the face of future health and humanitarian crises.
“Every single day counts in the fight against COVID-19 and the sooner that communities can have access to COVID-19 vaccines, the sooner they can curb the spread of the virus and get back on their feet. As a global player flying to more than 130 destinations, Emirates SkyCargo has been committed to the fight against the pandemic from the very early stages and we have rolled out a number of initiatives to expedite the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines through Dubai, starting with our GDP certified dedicated airside hub. Through our partnership with UNICEF, we will be taking yet another step to prioritise and facilitate the rapid and secure movement of COVID-19 vaccines particularly to communities hard hit by the disease,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo.
Emirates SkyCargo is an industry leader in the air cargo sector for the transport of temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals including vaccines. The cargo carrier features a global network spanning six continents, a modern fleet of widebody only aircraft as well as state of the art EU GDP certified infrastructure at its hub in Dubai for the secure transport of pharmaceuticals and vaccines.
In October 2020, Emirates SkyCargo announced that it was setting up the world’s largest EU GDP certified airside distribution hub dedicated for the storage and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. With over 15,000 sq metres of storage space available for vaccines, Emirates SkyCargo is able to store large quantities of the COVID-19 vaccine in Dubai, and fly in smaller quantities regularly to markets with limited cold chain infrastructure, reducing the need for large scale storage solutions.
In January 2021, under the directives of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Emirates SkyCargo joined hands with three other Dubai-based entities- DP World, International Humanitarian City and Dubai Airports to form a COVID-19 vaccine alliance for rapid transport of COVID-19 vaccines to the developing world through Dubai.