Vaccine distribution hub set up in Dubai

(Photo: Emirates)

Emirates SkyCargo has created the world’s first airside cargo hub to hold a potential COVID-19 vaccine

The hub, located in the SkyCentral DWC cargo terminal at Dubai South, will provide services for storage and distribution.

Alongside the introduction of the centre, the carrier has also set up a rapid response team which aims to help coordinate requests from partners involved in the vaccine distribution ecosystem, as well as streamlining the airline’s response to transportation requests.

The site in the city will enable the operator to fly in vaccines from around the world, with the facilities to store and prepare shipments for worldwide distribution.

(Photo: Emirates)

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates chair and chief executive, is optimistic about the country providing the new distribution service: “Dubai is well-positioned to serve as a gateway and distribution hub for COVID-19 vaccines to the rest of the world. We have the infrastructure and logistics connections, and a geographic location that puts markets representing more than two-thirds of the world’s population within an [eight]-hour flying radius.”

With over 4,000 square meters of temperature-controlled storage, it’s estimated the hub will be able to hold around 10 million vials of the vaccine.

Cool dollys are also situated alongside the new infrastructure, helping to protect temperature-sensitive cargo during transit between the aircraft and terminal.

Stations will also be located for services such as re-icing and repackaging of vaccines ready for global circulation.

Emirates currently has a network of aircraft covering over 130 destinations across six continents. Due to the vast land it covers and strategic location of the site in Dubai, the carrier is hoping shipments of the vaccine can be moved at a rapid rate.