Emirates SkyCargo has cut 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 and arrived at Dubai International Airport (DXB) at 22.15 local time.
Watch a video of the vaccines arriving in Dubai here.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and CEO, Emirates Group said: “Emirates is proud to transport the first batch of Pfizer vaccines for COVID-19 to the UAE of 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 tirelessly over the past year to protect the lives of those most vulnerable to the disease. In recognition of their tremendous contribution to the well – being of all in the UAE, it has been our honor to carry these vaccines free of charge on our aircraft. ”
Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo, said: “At Emirates SkyCargo, we do our part to join Dubai’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the effective management of the pandemic by Dubai’s visionary leadership, the city has maintained its position as a global logistical hub for connecting vital goods including PPE, medical supplies, vaccines, food and other important items. Emirates SkyCargo has created the world’s largest airside hub dedicated to the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and we are ready to support not only 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 effects of the pandemic. ”
Upon arrival at DXB, the containers with the vaccines were unloaded according to priority from the aircraft and then taken to Emirates SkyCargo’s dedicated pharmaceutical facility Emirates SkyPharma to await approval for delivery.
Emirates SkyCargo is no stranger to the transportation of vaccines and other temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical cargo. The airline has more than two decades of experience transporting medicines on its aircraft and has set up advanced EU GDP-certified facilities dedicated to the storage and handling of pharmaceuticals in Dubai. Emirates SkyCargo has also established a global Pharma Corridors program working with land dealers and local airports in major pharmaceutical origin and destination stations for enhanced cold chain protection. The current pharmaceutical network covers over 30 cities worldwide including Brussels.
Recently, Emirates SkyCargo 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 2-8C temperature range at any point of time. With its advanced infrastructure, extensive network and modern wide-body aircraft fleet, Emirates SkyCargo can transport COVID-19 vaccines quickly and safely from production sites to destinations on six continents. Emirates SkyCargo has already started distributing COVID-19 vaccines from a number of manufacturers and geographical areas.