The Preparations for COVID-19 Vaccine Air Distribution Are Set to Begin Immediately

by Admin on September 14, 2020

The world has been in a state of anticipation for an effective COVID-19 vaccine for almost a year. Recently, The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has issued an alert that the time has come for governments and aviation stakeholders to start cooperation and preparations for transporting COVID-19 vaccines through air cargo flights once approved.

The Distribution of COVID-19 vaccines all around the world is described to be the mission of the century for the international air cargo industry, thus the most challenging one. So, the preparation process will be lengthy and accurate, it must be carried on immediately.

The air cargo industry is currently putting all its effort to hold the main responsibility of transporting the vaccine worldwide.

Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak, international airlines have been using some of their passenger aircraft to operate cargo flights, due to the huge decrease in passengers’ flights. However, these passenger aircraft which functioned perfectly for regular cargo flights can’t be used to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. Pharmaceutical products require specific standards and conditions during transportation, these conditions are not available in any cargo aircraft!

In this blog, we overview the main needs and requirements of the air cargo industry to transport the COVID-19 vaccine efficiently:

Temperature Control Equipment

The transportation process still has many unknown factors, like the accurate number of doses, the manufacturing locations, and most importantly the suitable temperature degree to preserve the vaccine. However, there is one common thing among pharmaceutical material that we certainly know, all medicine and vaccines are considered as time and temperature sensitive materials that require a temperature range between 2 and 8C.

As a result, every air cargo plane among the COVID-19 transportation fleet must include specially designed refrigerating containers that are set to sustain the cold chain during the flight.

Some medicines must be “keep frozen” during air transportation. If the vaccine turned out to be of this type, then the use of dry ice (carbon dioxide solid) will be a necessity that the aviation industry must prepare for.

IATA stresses that labeling your product as T&T sensitive doesn’t always guarantee they will be transported at the referred and requested temperature degree! Accuracy depends on the quality of the booked service.

Booking the professional flight support services of iJET assures that your vaccine shipment will be loaded, offloaded, preserved, and stored according to the approved standards.

Speedy Delivery

Vaccines must be delivered quickly without any delay to preserve the quality of the medicine by delivering it from the manufacturer to worldwide locations before it loses its effectiveness.

To do this, many facilitations and exceptions must be given to COVID-19 vaccine aircraft, such as:

  • Accelerating the process of overflight and landing permits approvals for the aircraft carrying COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Exempting all staff members who are responsible for maintaining the vaccine supply chain from quarantine laws and procedures.
  • Providing airport arrival priority to the flights of COVID-19 vaccine and suspending any curfew hours for such vital flights to avoid delays.
  • Exempting COVID-19 vaccine operations from tariff taxes to facilitate the transportation process.

Despite all the facilitations provided to air cargo flights of the COVID-19 vaccine, getting overflight and landing permits would still be challenging due to the huge demand for vaccine shipments. Also, receiving an airport slot won’t be easy because the demand will exceed airport capacities. iJET long experience in granting flight permits and airport slots on short notice is the ultimate solution.

The Required Fleet Capacity

IATA estimates that delivering only one dose of vaccine to the 7.8 billion people around the world would require 8000 fully loaded Boeing 747 cargo aircraft, while there are around 17,000 aircraft parked at airports around the world, forming about 60% of the global fleet according to Cirium.

As the world needs huge numbers of aircraft to be fully prepared to take off, a lot of aircraft were put into long-term storage due to the severe downturn of passenger flights, which urged airlines to dramatically reduce their flight networks. Consequently, air cargo flights capacity was also reduced which requires full, instant technical and logistical preparations so that maintenance teams would have the time to implement all the following essential steps before taking planes from storage to the air again:

  • Removing all the covers and plugs installed on the planes’ vulnerable areas before going into storage
  • Checking fluid levels
  • Checking tire pressure
  • Running test flights to check that all the seals and gaskets are well-functioning.

All these necessary testing procedures must be done by professional ground handling specialists because there is no room or time for making mistakes. iJET ground handling services are available to help in reoperating any aircraft that is set to serve this global cause and supplying it with aviation fuel.

COVID-19 Vaccine Security

Such a valuable commodity that holds hope for the entire world could be a target for theft or tampering. Protecting the COVID-19 vaccine from any security threats is the responsibility of the cargo aviation industry.

iJET cargo aviation security services guarantee a safe and protected COVID-19 vaccine air transport from manufacturing locations to distribution destinations. Our cargo security services comply with ICAO SaRPs regulations in all its cargo security actions.

The huge demand for air cargo flights that will occur once a vaccine is approved might exceed worldwide airports capabilities, iJET suggests that chartering a private cargo aircraft would be the perfect solution.

iJET declares its complete support for all COVID-19 vaccine air cargo flights, providing flight planning, aviation fuel supply, ground handling services, aviation security, and much more. Contact us by visiting our website:

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