Frankfurt Cargo Services has handled its first shipments of Covid-19 vaccines from German biotechnology company BioNTech.
Doses of the vaccine were held at Frankfurt Cargo Services’ facility at Frankfurt’s CargoCity Süd before being loaded into the cargo hold of a Royal Jordanian Airlines A319 bound for Amman.
The airline-independent cargo handler at Frankfurt Airport said it had been completing preparations to support vaccine shipments as part of parent company Worldwide Flight Services’ ‘Project Coldstream’ initiative.
Under the initiative, the group is coordinating a global response to the anticipated transportation of some 16 billion doses of vaccine.
In Frankfurt, this has included gaining CEIV certification by IATA in September as well as the Pharma and Good Distribution Practice (GDP) certification by the European Union in November.
For the vaccine shipments, Frankfurt Cargo Services’ dedicated pharma handling personnel takes responsibility for all the required warehouse processes from the point of delivery to the airport, checking the integrity of packaging, and constantly monitoring the temperature of the consignment to ensure it maintained strict -70°C requirements.
Shortened handover times for ramp transportation to the aircraft were also introduced, allowing doses of the vaccine to remain in the company’s temperature-controlled pharma storage location until close to the flight departure time.
Frankfurt Cargo Services’ managing director Claus Wagner said: “[We] prepared early and thoroughly to offer customers the highest and safest standards for vaccine handling. The fact that the first handling of a vaccine together with Royal Jordanian Airlines happened smoothly and quickly confirms our claim to be a highly relevant gateway between air and land transport, especially during the [Covid-19] crisis.”