Qatar Airways Cargo flies 54 tonnes of vaccines from Brussels to Mumbai

Qatar Airways Cargo has transported a 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines from Belgium to India.

The 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world were transported on Qatar Airways Cargo scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics.

Transporting 56 SkyCell containers of vaccines on two separate flights

The vaccine shipment was flown from Brussels to Mumbai on two separate flights via the carrier’s hub in Doha. The SkyCell containers were loaded on Qatar Airways aircraft in Brussels and arrived in Doha where they were stored at the carrier’s airside Climate Control Centre for pharmaceuticals, before connecting on the aircraft to Mumbai the next day.

During the interim storage in the cold chamber, SkyCell’s hybrid containers were able to recharge themselves, extending their long independent runtime for an additional 72 hours after landing in Mumbai. In the face of significant logistical challenges faced worldwide by the pharmaceutical industry, the airline has been supporting global trade by operating its scheduled freighters, special charters and freight only passenger flights. This provides businesses with much needed capacity and access to markets during these challenging times.

Mr. Guillaume Halleux, Chief Officer Cargo stated:

“We are glad to support our customer CEVA and offer the much-required capacity for these vaccine shipments. When transporting climate control products, we ensure the cool chain is unbroken to preserve the efficacy of all medicines and pharmaceutical shipments flown on Qatar Airways Cargo.

The COVID-19 crisis has indeed created quite a number of challenges for global trade, however air cargo is a resilient industry and we continue to operate our cargo flights, supporting customers to transport their cargo around the world.”

Chiara Venuti, Business Development Director of SkyCell further added:

“The COVID-19 crisis leaves no room for error and direct product release without temperature deviation is key. We are therefore proud to have contributed with our container solutions to the safe and timely delivery of these critical vaccines to patients in need.”

Twan Reijers, Vice President Freight Management Benelux from CEVA Logistics said:

“With the help of Qatar Airways Cargo, we were able to assist Global Biopharma company to move a large quantity of vaccines in the compliant and controlled environment of Skycell. Proud that our freight forwarding network arranged the set up for shipping these volumes during COVID-19 lockdown with zero tolerance towards temperature excursions into India, which is still very much impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The ultra-modern Climate Control Centre for storing pharmaceuticals

QR Pharma, the cargo airline’s specialist product developed for pharmaceuticals and healthcare products, offers active solutions to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the transportation chain, as well as passive solutions, which keep the pharmaceuticals within a defined temperature band during all stages of the journey. The innovative Climate Control Centre situated at the airside at Hamad International Airport is equipped with segregated temperature-controlled sections for storing pharmaceuticals transiting the hub. It has two zones operating for 2°C to 8°C or 15°C to 25°C, with a capacity to hold a total of 156 unit loading devices (ULDs) at a time, in addition to the 64 temperature-controlled cells at the cargo terminal’s cold room. The cargo carrier utilises refrigerated vehicles at its hub for all temperature-sensitive cargo, ensuring perfect temperature control.

100,000 tonnes of medical and aid supplies flown to COVID-19 affected regions

At present amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Qatar Airways Cargo continues to operate a significant cargo schedule with approximately 175 flights per day. In April, the leading cargo operator worked closely with governments and NGOs to transport over 100,000 tonnes of medical and aid supplies to impacted regions around the world on both scheduled and charter flights. This is the equivalent of around 1,000 fully loaded Boeing 777 freighters. Freight charters are being operated to multiple countries including China, India, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Poland, United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. Qatar Airways Cargo utilises its full freighter fleet as per schedule and operates belly-hold cargo flights to destinations where possible.

To check the most updated schedules, Qatar Airways Cargo customers are encouraged to visit: