While we stay indoors, the COVID-19 vaccine is journeying its way across the world via a global air cargo bridge, thanks to Turkish Cargo. Here’s what we know about it so far. By Bayar Jain
Turkish Cargo, in a recent release, revealed that their strong fleet coupled with their wide flight network is carrying the COVID-19 vaccines via a cross-continental air bridge. The China-manufactured vaccine, for instance, flew over 17,000 kilometres to reach Brazil, thanks to this Middle-Eastern carrier.
Loaded inside seven containers with dedicated cooling systems, these vaccines have reached other parts of the world too, states the release. This includes key and certified pharmaceutical destinations like Mumbai, Brussels, Istanbul, Sao Paolo, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, and more. In doing so, the carrier has created a global pharmaceutical corridor between 400 destinations, and in turn, strengthened its commitment to transport the coveted vaccine. Vaccine aside, the release also notes that Turkish Cargo has carried pharmaceutical, medical products, and medical equipment between January to September, in turn, leading to a growth of over 50 per cent for pharmaceutical shipments during the same time.
To facilitate the same, Turkish Cargo commissioned temperature-controlled warehouses and increased its cold chain shipments by 30 per cent. Holding the IATA CEIV (International Air Transport Association Center of Excellence for Independent Validators) pharma certificate, Turkish Cargo maintains these cold chains at optimal conditions, courtesy TK Pharma—a product designed exclusively for carrying pharmaceuticals at globally-approved standards.
“Thanks to our special cargo shipments, for which we hold all global qualifications and certifications, we are ready to transport the vaccines that are ready or being developed to all across the globe,” says Turkish Airlines Chief Cargo Officer, Turhan Özen. The SmartIST, an air logistics centre, will help with the same.
Connecting Asia and Europe, the SmartIST mega facility is located at the Istanbul Airport. This 3,40,000 square-metre space will be equipped with the receiving, delivery and operation areas for the special cargo. The area will also have an operation area of 2,100 square metres, which will be isolated from the other cargo and will have web-based temperature and humidity monitoring systems.