Air Cargo Management

Distributing a cure: Emirates SkyCargo unveils Covid-19 vaccine cargo hub


Emirates SkyCargo has created what it says is the world’s first dedicated airside cargo hub for a potential Covid-19 vaccine.

The air cargo carrier is re-opening its Emirates SkyCentral DWC cargo terminal in Dubai South to serve as a dedicated hub for cold chain storage and distribution of a vaccine.

“Keystone project”: The hub features 4,000sq m of temperature-controlled, GDP-certified dedicated pharma storage space

Emirates SkyCentral has also set up a dedicated rapid response team to handle requests from the partners involved in the international vaccine distribution ecosystem. The team will also help streamline the carrier’s response to vaccine transportation requests.

Emirates’ chairman and chief executive HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum noted that Dubai was well positioned to serve as a gateway and distribution hub for Covid-19 vaccines to the rest of the world.

The above video shows how Emirates SkyCargo set up the world’s largest GDP compliant airside hub for COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

“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,” he said.

“Over the years, through our continuous investment in capabilities and processes for the transport of temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals, Emirates SkyCargo has managed to position Dubai among major global pharmaceutical customers as the year-round preferred point of transit for their valuable cargo.


“Setting up a dedicated airside hub for Covid-19 vaccines is a keystone project harnessing our network, reach and competencies to positively impact the lives of people around the world.”

The Dubai hub will allow the air cargo carrier to fly in vaccines from manufacturing sites globally, and then store and prepare shipments for regional and global distribution.

The Covid-19 vaccine distribution hub in numbers

Emirates SkyCentral said the facility had 4,000sq m of temperature-controlled, GDP-certified dedicated pharma storage space. It estimates that the facility can hold around 10 million vials of vaccine at a 2-8°C temperature range at any one point of time.

In addition to cold storage, Emirates SkyCargo will also offer dedicated zones for services such as re-icing and repackaging of vaccines for global distribution.


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