Airports team up for India Covid vaccine supply chains

Dubai World Central

Dubai Airports and GMR Hyderabad (GMR-HYD) airport group are creating a Covid-19 vaccine distribution corridor to connect pharma manufacturers in India with global markets.

Hyderabad is the world’s emerging vaccine capital with five major vaccine producers in its vicinity.

Dubai Airports and airport service provider dnata cargo will provide handling capacity for up to 300 tonnes of vaccines per day on the HYD-DXB corridor.

The UAE airport group’s Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC) hubs are home to 88 global airlines including Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates, and 12 international and 400 local and regional freight forwarders.

Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports, said: “A major surge in demand for the efficient, safe and reliable global distribution of high volumes of Covid-19 vaccines is expected in the coming months and as the world’s pre-eminent hub of choice, we wanted to be ready to respond to and accommodate that demand.

“Our partnership with GMR-Hyderabad is timed perfectly just as the global race to develop the vaccines enters the final stage. This corridor is the result of our proactive strategy to be ready with innovative, collaborative and agile shipping solutions for the industry.”

SGK Kishore, executive director – south and chief innovation officer at GMR Airports, said: “As the world embarks on an unprecedented vaccination drive to combat Covid-19, our collaboration with Dubai Airports in the form of an exclusive vaccine airfreight corridor – HYDXB-VAXCOR will play a key role in enabling seamless, safe and efficient shipment of Covid-19 vaccines to and from Hyderabad, the pharma capital of South Asia.”

Gary Chapman, president of dnata, said: “We are excited to join forces with Dubai and Hyderabad Airports to ensure safe and efficient transportation of the Covid-19 vaccine across the region and beyond.

“Over the past few years, we’ve significantly invested in state-of-the-art facilities and the latest technologies to enhance our pharma handling capabilities. Our advanced infrastructure enables us to deliver the highest level of service and safety for our partners and their customers in this unique project.”

Said Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president, cargo: “Emirates SkyCargo is delighted to support the vaccine distribution corridor initiative between Dubai and Hyderabad Airports which will greatly facilitate the rapid and secure transportation of Covid-19 vaccines from Hyderabad to Dubai and beyond.

“Hyderabad is an important station for us in terms of pharma transportation and is part of our international Pharma Corridors initiative for enhanced cool chain protection for pharmaceuticals. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have continued to transport important volumes of temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical cargo from Hyderabad and the region.”

Sultan added: “Emirates SkyCargo provides robust flight connectivity to Hyderabad with more than 10 weekly flights on our widebody Boeing 777 aircraft.

“Together with our charter capability, we are well positioned to transport the Covid-19 vaccines from Hyderabad to our hub in Dubai where we have extensive EU GDP certified infrastructure for pharma, including a dedicated airside hub to store and distribute Covid-19 vaccines before transporting them onwards to the rest of the world including emerging markets.” 

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