Air France KLM Martinair Cargo and UNICEF will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding as part of the ‘Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative’, laying down their commitment to cooperating closely on the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.
Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP Cargo) and UNICEF share a long history of transporting vaccines and medicines worldwide, particularly to countries with vulnerable healthcare systems and poor infrastructure, where children have an especially hard time.
Vaccines will play a leading role in combatting the coronavirus pandemic in 2021. A Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) has been established to ensure that less prosperous countries also receive enough vaccines. Ninety-two low and middle-income countries and several wealthier countries have joined this organization, including the European Union.
Acting on behalf of COVAX, UNICEF will coordinate distribution to safeguard access to coronavirus vaccines throughout the world, ensuring that the poorest and most vulnerable people on the planet can also count on vaccinations in the course of 2021. 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 immunize around three percent of their population, on average, subject to all requirements being met and final allocation plans.
GertJan Roelands, SVP Sales & Distribution Air France KLM Martinair Cargo: “We’re very pleased to be formalizing our partnership with UNICEF by signing a Memorandum of Understanding. We’ve been working together for a long time and are confidently looking forward to participating in this Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative. Our extensive global freight network, expertise, dedicated people, and services will play an important role in ensuring the successful shipment of Covid-19 vaccines with the highest priority and under the required strict conditions.”
AFKLMP Cargo has many years of experience transporting temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals and was the first airline group to be CEIV Pharma certified by IATA. The distribution of Covid-19 vaccines poses specific challenges in terms of volume, transportation requirements and security. We have developed a specific product that ensures the swift, reliable and safe distribution of these vaccines. We have also invested in additional climate-controlled storage facilities at both our hubs, Schiphol and Charles-de-Gaulle, and have added hybrid container solutions to our portfolio.
In recent months, we have successfully transported different types of vaccines to various destinations around the world and are committed to supporting UNICEF in its mission of bringing these life-saving vaccines to low and lower-middle-income countries.
AFKLMP Cargo currently operates more than 700 long-haul and cargo flights a week to over 100 destinations. The African continent alone is served with 240 flights a week to 40 different destinations. We look forward to cooperating closely with UNICEF to achieve its objective of delivering 2 billion doses of vaccine by the end of 2021.