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Ethiopian Airlines delivers Africa’s first Covid vaccines

Sunday February 07 2021
Airli9ne pic

Ethiopian Airlines on February 6, 2021 announced that it has delivered the first Covid-19 vaccine shipment to Africa. File | AFP

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

The Ethiopian Airlines on Saturday announced that it has delivered the first Covid-19 vaccine shipment to Africa.

In a statement sent to the Nation, the award winning and largest airline in Africa said the vaccine delivery flight was made Saturday, February 6, 2021 from Beijing to N'Djamena via Addis Ababa. 

“We are glad that we have launched the delivery of our mission-critical service with the distribution of Covid-19 vaccine," said Ethiopian Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam.

"We will be repeating the remarkable and globally recognised success in leading the fast delivery of PPE a few months ago with similar delivery speed, professional handling and maintaining the cold chain during the global vaccine distribution," he added.

Saturday’s vaccine delivery to the African continent is part of the partnership agreement the Ethiopian Airlines signed with Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, the logistics arm of China’s Alibaba Group, to launch a cold chain air freight for transporting temperature-controlled medicines.


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Cold chain air transport

Previously, the Ethiopian Airlines had announced the launch of a cold chain air freight to transport temperature-sensitive medicines, including Covid-19 vaccines.

The cargo terminal in Ethiopia is equipped with different temperature storage facilities ranging between -23o to -25o making its Pharma Wing one of the best suited for handling pharmaceuticals and all types of temperature-sensitive healthcare supplies.

The carrier is a major cargo partner of WHO, WFP, donor governments and philanthropists in facilitating the flow of essential medical supplies owing to the massive cargo facility including Pharma Wing, large and dedicated freighters and well trained manpower.

Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services, the cargo unit of Ethiopian Airlines Group, was instrumental in facilitating the flow of medical supplies including PPE across the globe in support of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic by deploying its state-of-the-art cargo terminal, which is the largest in Africa, with an annual capacity of around one million tons and compartmentalised temperature controlled cold storage facilities.


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