Emirates SkyCargo has notched yet another milestone by flying in COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech to the UAE for the first time for the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). The vaccines were transported from Brussels on Emirates flight EK 182 on 22 December 2020, arriving at Dubai International Airport (DXB) at 22.15 local time.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Group said: “Emirates is proud to be transporting the first batch of Pfizer vaccines for COVID-19 into the UAE for the Dubai Health Authority. Our healthcare ecosystem has played an absolutely critical role in every step of the fight against COVID-19. I would like to thank everyone who has worked unceasingly over the last year to protect the lives of those most vulnerable against the disease. In recognition of their immense contribution for the wellbeing of everyone in the UAE, it has been our honour to transport these vaccines free of charge on our flight.”
Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo said: “At Emirates SkyCargo we are doing our part to join Dubai’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the effective management of the pandemic by Dubai’s visionary leadership, the city has retained its position as a global logistical hub for connecting vital cargo including PPE, medical supplies, vaccines, food and other essential items. Emirates SkyCargo has set up the world’s largest airside hub dedicated to distributing COVID-19 vaccines and we stand ready to support not just Dubai, but countries around the world, including markets with limited cool chain infrastructure with our advanced capabilities. By transporting COVID-19 vaccines across our extensive network, we look forward to helping people around the world get back on their feet after the devastating impact of the pandemic.”
On arrival at DXB, the containers with the vaccines were unloaded on priority from the aircraft and then taken to Emirates SkyCargo’s dedicated pharma facility Emirates SkyPharma to await clearance for delivery.
Emirates SkyCargo is no stranger to transporting vaccines and other temperature sensitive pharmaceutical cargo. The carrier has more than two decades experience in transporting pharmaceuticals on its aircraft and has set up state of the art EU GDP certified facilities dedicated for storing and handling pharma cargo in Dubai. Emirates SkyCargo has also established a global Pharma Corridors programme working with ground handlers and local airports at major pharma origin and destination stations for enhanced cool chain protection. The current pharma network covers over 30 cities across the world including Brussels.
More recently, Emirates SkyCargo has set up the world’s largest dedicated airside storage and distribution hub for COVID-19 vaccines in Dubai with the capacity to store up to an estimated 10 million doses of vaccine at the 2-8C temperature range at any one point of time. With its advanced infrastructure, extensive network and modern all wide-body aircraft fleet, Emirates SkyCargo can transport COVID-19 vaccines rapidly and securely from manufacturing locations to destinations across six continents. Emirates SkyCargo has already commenced distribution of COVID-19 vaccines from a range of manufacturers and geographies.