SkyTeam Cargo alliance launches Covid-19 vaccine programme

Aerolíneas Argentinas Cargo
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Global airline cargo alliance, SkyTeam Cargo, launches V EXCELLENCE, a dedicated programme for shipping COVID-19 vaccines.

The alliance’s 12 members tapped their years of combined experience in pharmaceutical shipping in developing the new service.

The V EXCELLENCE programme covers the transport of COVID-19 shipments moved under the members’ unique product family: CUSTOMIZED VACCINES, offering special handling and priority; and SPECIALIZED PHARMA, the solution for all pharma shipments.

The alliance notes that most of its members hold International Air Transport Association (IATA) Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Pharma certification and are experts in the transportation of pharmaceutical, health care and life science products.

“This includes the complex procedures necessary to safely ship certain vaccines requiring dry ice to maintain ultra-cold temperatures,” the SkyTeam says.

The alliance highlights some of the activity its members have been involved in to move vaccines around the world.

  • Aеroflot has carried nearly 50 tonnes comprising millions of doses, of COVID-19 vaccines to various continents.
  • Aerolineas Argentinas Cargo has so far transported 3.37 million doses of Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines from Russia and China to Argentina and other Latin American countries.
  • Aeromexico Cargo chartered a flight to Russia, marking the first time in 86 years, to uplift a shipment of vaccines destined for Mexico. This is in addition to shipments from Argentina transporting active ingredients to manufacture around 12 million doses.
  • Air France-KLM Cargo has successfully transported millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines to various continents via its extensive global cargo network.
  • Alitalia Cargo, active in supporting the transportation of all medical supplies needed since the COVID-19 emergency started, is now active in the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Delta Cargo has delivered almost half a million vaccines and clinical trial shipments within the US and across the globe, with constant monitoring via its Vaccine Watch Tower.
  • Korean Air is transporting COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine ingredients to Asia and Europe and is also one of several SkyTeam Cargo members working with UNICEF for the global transport of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Saudia Cargo has transported more than 10 tonnes of both Pfizer & Astra Zeneca vaccines into Saudi Arabia to date and is working to exponentially enhance this number in the coming weeks.

“V EXCELLENCE is backed by a vast network reach combined with years of experience in special handling to guarantee the safe, reliable transportation of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines between continents,” says SkyTeam Cargo chairman and CEO of Saudia Cargo, Omar Hariri.

“Vaccines are vital to tackling the pandemic and as production ramps up, SkyTeam Cargo members have the skills and capacity to deliver, facilitating wider access for populations across the globe thanks to our strong partnerships with major freight forwarder experts in the pharma industry.”

JD Eum, senior vice president and head of Cargo Business Division at Korean Air comments: “Korean Air is currently transporting COVID-19 vaccines, including Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, and related medical supplies to/from Korea, and will continue to invest all necessary resources to ensure the safe transport of the vaccine.

“We hope to expand the vaccine’s delivery to more regions by cooperating closely with SkyTeam Cargo members and sharing networks.”

SkyTeam Cargo notes that during the ongoing crisis, its members are playing a vital role in ensuring essential cargo shipments of medicines, personal protective equipment (PPE) and emergency supplies reach frontline health care practitioners.

SkyTeam Cargo alliance members include: Aeroflot Cargo, Aerolíneas Argentinas Cargo, Aeromexico Cargo, Air France-KLM Cargo, Alitalia Cargo, China Airlines Cargo, China Cargo Airlines, Czech Airlines Cargo, Delta Cargo, Korean Air Cargo and Saudia Cargo.


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