Emirates transports 25 tonnes of vaccines to Brazil

15 / 08 / 2018

Emirates SkyCargo has transported over 25 tonnes of vaccines — some 1.8m doses — from Milan to Bello Horizonte airport in Brazil, the largest vaccine shipment by the Middle East carrier on a single flight.

Given the extreme sensitivity of the vaccines to temperature fluctuations, the entire shipment on board the Boeing 777 freighter had to be transported in specialised containers to maintain a constant temperature of 5 degrees Celsius.

A total of 36 Envirotainer containers — 35 RAP e2 and one RKNe1 — were loaded on the freighter at Milan, one of the designated airports in Emirates SkyCargo’s pharma corridor programme.

On arrival at Bello Horizonte, it was has first time the hub had received such a large shipment of vaccines, the pharma products were removed from the containers and transported to temperature controlled storage areas at the airport.

Hiran Perera, Emirates senior vice president, cargo planning and freighters, said: “Emirates SkyCargo is a global leader in the air transport of temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals and our commitment to transport lifesaving medications securely is backed by our infrastructure including modern aircraft as well as our GDP compliant processes and our trained staff.

“We planned every detail of this charter very carefully with our partners from mid-July to ensure that the vaccines would be delivered carefully to Belo Horizonte airport."

Peter Robbe, Belo Horizonte airport cargo manager, said: "Negotiations for the arrival of this shipment included the visit of technical professionals who checked the storage conditions of our chambers considered to be the latest generation.

“To take advantage of the potential of the cargo logistics area of the Airport, Bello Horizonte has invested in a new configuration of the cargo terminal and has installed two new refrigerated chambers to triple cool chain storage capacity to 3,350 cu m.”

On average, Emirates SkyCargo transports about 80,000 pharma shipments every year, varying in size from small clinical trial shipments to pharma charters on freighter aircraft, across its network of over 160 destinations.

Emirates Pharma is the carrier’s range of temperature controlled transport services for pharma products. Emirates SkyCargo has invested in developing specialised equipment including the Emirates Pharma Cool Dollies and the White Cover thermal blankets, developed in collaboration with DuPont, for the protection of pharma cargo.

As part of a growing awareness of airfreight's importance in emergency medicine supply chains, IAG Cargo earlier this week reported that it had transported 5.3 tonnes of diphtheria vaccine from India to Caracas in Venezuela. 

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