Dubai and Hyderabad airports create air corridor for Covid-19 vaccines

Link between the two cities can handle up to 300 tonnes of vaccines a day

Government of Dubai Media Office – 10 August 2020: Dubai’s tourism and hospitality sectors are benefitting from a rapid rebound driven by a multi-phase roadmap being executed by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). Prominent players in the industry have experienced a surge of interest from across the world since the reopening of the city to international tourists on 7 July. Courtesy Dubai Media Office

Dubai Airports and India's GMR Hyderabad Airports have set up an air corridor to handle up to 300 tonnes of vaccines a day.

The corridor connects major vaccine manufacturers in India with markets around the world through Dubai.

It comes as the UAE increasingly plays a major role in global vaccine distribution.

Emirates airline established a dedicated airside centre for vaccines at the airline's SkyCargo facility in Dubai South. It will allow the carrier to bring vaccine doses from manufacturing sites globally.

Abu Dhabi has also launched a global logistics centre to deliver billions of Covid-19 vaccine doses around the world.

The Hope Consortium, a group of government bodies and private companies, will provide vaccine storage and distribution.

Officials from Dubai and India welcomed the establishment of the air corridor.

"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," said Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports, a company wholly owned by Dubai Government.

"Our partnership with GMR-Hyderabad is timed perfectly just as the global race to develop the vaccines enters the final stage."

SGK Kishore of GMR Airports, said the partnership would allow seaamless vaccine shipments.

"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 air freight corridor ... 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."

Hyderabad has five vaccine producers in the vicinity.

India, meanwhile, has the second-highest number of coronavirus infections in the world. As of Monday, the country had reported more than 10.3 million infections and 149,860 deaths.

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