IAG Cargo has signed an agreement with UNICEF to support the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines, essential medicines, medical devices and other critical supplies to respond to the pandemic. This commits to the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative that brings together airlines covering routes to over 100 countries, in support of the COVAX Facility – the global effort aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.
With the agreement, UNICEF will benefit from access to one of the largest aircraft fleets in the world supported by five airlines, including British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus. IAG Cargo has successfully delivered over one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccines to many parts of the world so far, including the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Ireland, the Americas and Melilla.
Fundamental to its success is IAG Cargo’s highly specialised Constant Climate offering, which sees the safe and effective transport of millions of temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical products every year. Constant Climate has three main hubs at London Heathrow, Madrid Barajas and Dublin Airport and an extensive global network of over 100 approved stations, supported by constant climate specialists.
John Cheetham, Chief Commercial Officer at IAG Cargo said: “We are incredibly proud to be able to support UNICEF in its work and to continue to play our part in this incredible global effort.
“We have many years’ experience flying vaccines and bio-science products around the world, delivering them safely to where they need to be. We’ve already transported over one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccines across the world, alongside transporting medical equipment, other types of vaccines, Covid-19 testing kits and PPE, as well as continuing to transport everyday products the world needs. Our hub facilities are world-class, and our global team of Constant Climate professionals are specialists in their field and have been preparing for this operation for some time.”
IAG Cargo’s London Heathrow hub was the first airside facility to be GDP certified by a national authority – the UK’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). In Madrid, Constant Climate shipments benefit from a brand-new pharmaceutical centre dedicated to processing temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical products. It is also GDP certified.
The UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative will also act as a global logistics preparedness mechanism for other humanitarian and health crises over the longer term. Based on the COVAX Facility’s indicative distribution and first round allocation plan, 145 countries will receive doses starting in the first half of 2021 to immunise around three per cent of their population, on average, subject to all requirements being met and final allocation plans.