Emirates SkyCargo to help Unicef deliver Covid-19 vaccines and medical supplies

Airline supports the global initiative to distribute vaccines to millions around the world

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Emirates SkyCargo has signed an agreement with the UN children's fund to prioritise the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines and other life-saving supplies worldwide.

More than 10 global airlines – including Emirates and Etihad Airways – are part of Unicef's Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative.

This helps with the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines, essential medicines, medical devices and other critical supplies to fight the pandemic.

The global initiative will help distribute essential supplies to more than 100 markets in support of the Covax global vaccine sharing programme.

Covax, which is co-led by the World Health Organisation, is the world's largest Covid-19 vaccine initiative.

It aims to ensure that people around the world have equitable access to Covid-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.

“Every single day counts in the fight against Covid-19, and the sooner that communities can have access to vaccines, the sooner they can curb the spread of the virus and get back on their feet,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president of cargo.

“As a global player flying to more than 130 destinations, Emirates SkyCargo has been committed to the fight against the pandemic from the very early stages.

"We have rolled out a number of initiatives to expedite the distribution of vaccines through Dubai – starting with our certified dedicated airside hub," Mr Sultan said.

“Through our partnership with Unicef, we will prioritise and facilitate the rapid and secure movement of vaccines, particularly to communities hard-hit by the disease.”

Emirates cargo planes are equipped to transport temperature sensitive medicines, such as vaccines.

Last October, the company announced it was setting up the world's largest EU Good Distribution Practices certified airside distribution hub in Dubai.

This is a dedicated site for storing and distributing Covid-19 vaccines, with more than  15,000 square metres of temperature-controlled storage space available for doses.

It means that vaccines can be regularly flown in limited numbers to countries with insufficient temperature-controlled infrastructure.

This reduces the need for large-scale storage solutions in those countries.

In January, Emirates also joined with DP World, International Humanitarian City and Dubai Airports to form an alliance for the rapid transport of vaccines to the developing world through Dubai.

Emirates staff getting vaccinated - in pictures