Emirates, Etihad ink agreements with UNICEF for transportation of Covid-19 vaccines
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Emirates, Etihad ink agreements with UNICEF for transportation of Covid-19 vaccines

Emirates, Etihad ink agreements with UNICEF for transportation of Covid-19 vaccines

The UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative brings together global airlines that cover routes to more than 100 countries, in support of the COVAX Facility


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 pandemic.

In a similar move, Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Cargo also signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UNICEF to support its Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative. Under the MoU, Etihad Cargo will aid the worldwide distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, medicines and medical devices, and other critical supplies.

The UNICEF drive convenes a number of partners 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 global partnerships in case 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,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president, Cargo.

“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.”

“Etihad Cargo had no hesitation in supporting UNICEF’s far-reaching humanitarian initiative to aid children most at risk worldwide,” explained Martin Drew, senior vice president sales and cargo, Etihad Aviation Group.

“With extensive experience and expertise in safe and efficient pharmaceutical logistics, Etihad Cargo will leverage its IATA CEIV-certified PharmaLife specialised pharmaceutical and healthcare product for the transportation of pharmaceuticals under temperature control which, under the membership of Abu Dhabi’s The HOPE Consortium, is already offering a complete supply chain solution to aid global Covid-19 vaccine distribution.”

Emirates SkyCargo features a network spanning six continents, a fleet of widebody only aircraft as well EU GDP certified infrastructure at its hub in Dubai for the secure transport of pharmaceuticals and vaccines.

Meanwhile, under the MoU, Etihad Cargo will collaborate with UNICEF’s global freight forwarder network, including with regard to services for countries with no commercial access. Services offered include high loading priority for vaccines and essential humanitarian supplies, shipment security and controlled cool chain monitoring and adjusting Etihad Cargo’s cold chain capacity to meet UNICEF’s forecast requirements.

“Delivery of these life-saving vaccines is a monumental and complex undertaking, considering the sheer volumes that need to be transported, the cold chain requirements, the number of expected deliveries and the diversity of routes,” said Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF Supply Division. “We are grateful to these airlines for joining forces with the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to support the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines.”

In January 2021, Emirates SkyCargo joined hands with three other Dubai-based entities- DP World, International Humanitarian City and Dubai Airports to form an alliance for the rapid transport of Covid-19 vaccines to the developing world through the emirate.

Read: Dubai launches logistics alliance to distribute 2 billion Covid-19 vaccine shots in 2021


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