Ethiopian Cargo highlights its readiness for vaccine distribution

By Rachelle Harry

Ethiopian Cargo B737-800 freighter

Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services, the cargo division of African carrier Ethiopian Airlines, has highlighted its readiness for the distribution of Covid-19 vaccine across Africa and the rest of the world.

The carrier said it has the largest cargo terminal in Africa, which has annual capacity of 1m tonnes, as well as compartmentalised temperature-controlled storage facilities at its Pharma Wing.

Ethiopian Group’s chief executive, Tewolde GebreMariam, explained: “As the world prepares to welcome Covid-19 vaccine, we will be at the forefront to further discharge our responsibility in the distribution of the vaccine across the globe.

“The Ethiopian Pharma Wing will repeat its remarkable and globally recognised success in leading the fast delivery of PPE a few months ago with similar delivery speed, professional handling and maintaining the cool chain during the forthcoming global distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine.”

Key features of Ethiopian’s Pharma Wing, which enable it to provide “safe and seamless cool chain logistics for handling temperature-sensitive healthcare products”, include: different climate chambers, ranging between -23°C to 25°C, covering an area of 54,000 sq m; dedicated cool dollies; a dedicated pharma team; lease/handling for Envirotainer and DoKaSCH-TS containers; and a real-time temperature monitoring system. 

Ethiopian’s readiness for vaccine distribution follows its response to the pandemic when it increased its available cargo capacity by deploying all 12 of its freighter aircraft, as well as operating 25 preighter aircraft.

The carrier also operated more than 360 charter flights to transport PPE and other supplies to more than 100 countries across five continents.

In addition, Ethiopian Airlines was selected as the logistics partner and distribution hub for Africa by the Jack Ma foundation, the UN’s WFP (World Food Programme) and the African CDC.

Last month, Ethiopian Airlines Cargo scooped the award for Best Cargo Airline – Africa, sponsored by Airline Business, at the 36th Air Cargo News Awards.

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