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Emirates SkyCargo delivers first batch of COVID-19 vaccines

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Emirates SkyCargo delivers first batch of COVID-19 vaccines. Image: Emirates SkyCargo
Emirates SkyCargo delivers first batch of COVID-19 vaccines. Image: Emirates SkyCargo
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Emirates SkyCargo has notched yet another milestone by flying in COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech to the UAE for the first time for the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). The vaccines were transported from Brussels on Emirates flight EK 182 on 22 December 2020, arriving at Dubai International Airport (DXB) at 22.15 local time.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Group said: “Emirates is proud to be transporting the first batch of Pfizer vaccines for COVID-19 into the UAE for the Dubai Health Authority. Our healthcare ecosystem has played an absolutely critical role in every step of the fight against COVID-19. I would like to thank everyone who has worked unceasingly over the last year to protect the lives of those most vulnerable against the disease. In recognition of their immense contribution for the wellbeing of everyone in the UAE, it has been our honour to transport these vaccines free of charge on our flight.”

Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo said: “At Emirates SkyCargo we are doing our part to join Dubai’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the effective management of the pandemic by Dubai’s visionary leadership, the city has retained its position as a global logistical hub for connecting vital cargo including PPE, medical supplies, vaccines, food and other essential items. Emirates SkyCargo has set up the world’s largest airside hub dedicated to distributing COVID-19 vaccines and we stand ready to support not just Dubai, but countries around the world, including markets with limited cool chain infrastructure with our advanced capabilities. By transporting COVID-19 vaccines across our extensive network, we look forward to helping people around the world get back on their feet after the devastating impact of the pandemic.”

On arrival at DXB, the containers with the vaccines were unloaded on priority from the aircraft and then taken to Emirates SkyCargo’s dedicated pharma facility Emirates SkyPharma to await clearance for delivery.

Emirates SkyCargo is no stranger to transporting vaccines and other temperature sensitive pharmaceutical cargo. The carrier has more than two decades experience in transporting pharmaceuticals on its aircraft and has set up state of the art EU GDP certified facilities dedicated for storing and handling pharma cargo in Dubai. Emirates SkyCargo has also established a global Pharma Corridors programme working with ground handlers and local airports at major pharma origin and destination stations for enhanced cool chain protection. The current pharma network covers over 30 cities across the world including Brussels.

More recently, Emirates SkyCargo has set up the world’s largest dedicated airside storage and distribution hub for COVID-19 vaccines in Dubai with the capacity to store up to an estimated 10 million doses of vaccine at the 2-8C temperature range at any one point of time. With its advanced infrastructure, extensive network and modern all wide-body aircraft fleet, Emirates SkyCargo can transport COVID-19 vaccines rapidly and securely from manufacturing locations to destinations across six continents. Emirates SkyCargo has already commenced distribution of COVID-19 vaccines from a range of manufacturers and geographies.

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Air Freight

DRONAMICS announces a strategic partnership with Cotesa

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DRONAMICS announces a strategic partnership with Cotesa. Image: DRONAMICS
DRONAMICS announces a strategic partnership with Cotesa. Image: DRONAMICS
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DRONAMICS announced a strategic manufacturing partnership with Cotesa, a European manufacturer of high-quality composite fiber components for aerospace and automotive companies.

​This agreement ensures that the production of the DRONAMICS’ cargo drones supports the demand for the commercial routes to be launched in Europe in 2023. ​DRONAMICS recently became the first drone cargo company to obtain a European drone airline license.

The Black Swan drone is the only cargo UAV that can carry 350kg (770lb) up to 2,500km (1,550mi) and will be manufactured at Cotesa’s facilities in Germany.

“We are delighted to have Cotesa as a manufacturing partner in Europe. This agreement to produce the Black Swan in their German facility supports our promise to enable same day delivery for everyone, everywhere, and the start of DRONAMICS’ commercial operations as the first drone cargo airline on the continent next year.” said Svilen Rangelov, Co-Founder and CEO of DRONAMICS.

“COTESA is proud to be a partner of Dronamics and support the next step of the development of their offering. Based on our long experience and competence in the manufacturing of components and assemblies for civil aviation, COTESA is excited to partner with such an innovator in the air mobility space.” commented Christian Bartsch, CEO of COTESA.

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Air Freight

IAG Cargo begins trial of first electric terminal tractor, known as a Terberg

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IAG Cargo begins trial of first electric terminal tractor, known as a Terberg. Image: IAG Cargo
IAG Cargo begins trial of first electric terminal tractor, known as a Terberg. Image: IAG Cargo
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IAG Cargo, the cargo division of International Airlines Group has begun to trial the first electric terminal tractor, known as a Terberg YT203EV, at London Heathrow airport. This is the first electric Terberg operating airside worldwide.

By replacing an existing terminal tractor with an electric Terberg, approximately 30 tonnes of CO2 will be saved per vehicle per year – this is the equivalent of planting over 1,250 trees or taking over 7 cars off the road.

Terberg has been creating electric vehicles since 2014 with the team constantly revising the designs. The latest vehicles can deliver the same capability as the current diesel units in a more environmentally sustainable way, allowing drivers to carry out their work pattern whilst avoiding diesel engine emissions.

In addition to its electric solution, Terberg are also exploring the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, having placed a unit in to test on an off airfield application. This additional environmentally friendly solution will afford Terberg customers such as IAG Cargo further options to achieve their environmental goals.

IAG Cargo are trialling the electric Terberg YT203EV for 12 months, with the ambition to transition its current diesel fleet to more sustainable alternatives, including electric. In the coming years the trial will help IAG Cargo and its partners understand the challenges the business may face when adopting an electric airside fleet, how future electric vehicles could be charged and what additional infrastructure will be needed to support a fleet of electric terminal tractors.

David Rose, Chief Transformation Officer at IAG Cargo commented: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Terberg to trial the first electric Terberg at London Heathrow – this is an exciting advancement for IAG Cargo as we strive to lead on sustainability and be fit for future.

We are continuously looking at ways that reduce our impact on the environment whilst improving our customer offering. This trial is part of a wider effort supporting our commitment to making IAG Cargo, and the wider industry, more sustainable.”

Alisdair Couper, Manager Director at Terberg added: “This is another step towards reducing air cargo’s impact on the environment and so we’re thrilled to work with IAG Cargo to see the first electric Terberg already in action at London Heathrow airport.”

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Air Freight

DHL Express starts a new route of cargo flight between US and Brazil

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DHL Express starts a new route of cargo flight between US and Brazil. Image: DHL
DHL Express starts a new route of cargo flight between US and Brazil. Image: DHL
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DHL Express, the world’s leading international express service provider, expanded its air network by operating its first, dedicated cargo flight between the United States and the Brazilian market. The new route, operated by Cargojet, responds to the increasing international shipping needs between Brazil and the U.S.

“During the past few years, we’ve witnessed unprecedented shipping demand from our customers in the Americas, in both the B2C and B2B segments,” said Mike Parra, CEO of DHL Express Americas. “This network upgrade along the U.S. – Brazil trade lane represents a huge opportunity for importers and exporters to grow their global businesses while receiving unparalleled levels of speed to key markets within the Americas region.”

With a 52-ton capacity per flight, the Boeing 767-300F aircraft will complete the MIA–VCP–BOG–MIA route 6-times a week, connecting Brazil to the DHL Express network with a dedicated flight, which arrives at Viracopos Airport, in Campinas, Sao Paulo. Due to its increased capacity of approx. 620 tons per week, DHL Express expects to improve transit times and offer highly reliable transportation to Brazil and Colombia throughout the year, without a dependency on commercial airlift during peak periods.

The flight departs from the recently expanded DHL Express Hub at the Miami International Airport, benefiting customers shipping from Asia and North America to and from Brazil, as well as customers shipping from Brazil to Colombia, enabling improved connectivity with Brazil and Central America.

The new connection to Brazil is part of DHL Express’ overall expansion plan in the Americas, which includes more than USD $360 million in investments between 2020 and 2022. The company continues to expand its air cargo capacity to cater to rising shipment demand resulting in particular from the e-commerce sector.

This year alone, the company has introduced several new routes, including to and from Vietnam and the United States as bilateral trade increased, adding 102 tons of additional capacity per flight; a new route between Japan and the United States, also in response to the increasing international shipping needs between these two countries, adding 102 tons of additional capacity per flight, six times per week. In late 2021, DHL also introduced a new route connecting Chile directly from the United States, which added more than 600 tons of capacity of cargo per week to the DHL network.

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