Caribbean Airlines has announced plans to ready itself for the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines throughout the Caribbean.
As it stands, the Caribbean Airlines Cargo division already handles freight through a mix of channels including its passenger aircraft (Boeing 737-800s and ATR 72-600s) and via ACMI agreements with Strategic Air Services which operates heavier Boeing 767-300Fs. They are now in talks with various stakeholders to arrange for temperature controlled shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine from countries such as the United States, Europe and India.
They aim to deliver vaccines to Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua, Barbados, Guyana, Grenada, Jamaica, Bahamas and St. Maarten, and are willing to work with other country heads within the Caribbean if distribution services are needed.
“Caribbean Airlines Cargo is steadfast in its commitment to serving the region. Our cargo operations continue to support the Caribbean, delivering critical cargo and ensuring the movement of goods into and out of the region”, said Marklan Moseley, General Manager – Cargo and New Business, Caribbean Airlines.
The airline has already engaged in cargo-focused missions during the pandemic, transporting COVID-19 test kits and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as a way to bring in revenue as a way of offsetting losses as a result of the border closure in Trinidad and Tobago.
Cold storage requirements
Vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna require varying levels of cold storage. For instance, the version from Pfizer-BioNTech must be stored at a temperature of -70 degrees Celsius. At the moment, logistics companies around the world are using a combination of dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) and isothermic boxes to help keep the vaccines adequately chilled. The boxes can be refilled with dry ice for a period up to 15 days.
[Featured Photo: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked]