8,000 aircraft may be required for delivery

Roughly 8,000 jumbo jets may be required to deliver coronavirus vaccines worldwide – a huge logistic challenge that would require careful planning from governments around the world, warns an airline trade group.

The staggering estimate is that there are 747 cargo planes for every one of the world’s 7.8 billion people taking just one dose of COVID-19 inoculation, the International Air Transport Association said on Wednesday, calling the task of delivering vaccines “global air Mission of the century for the cargo industry. ”

Although some shots will be taken to the ground, IATA noted that airlines are operating at “low” capacity as they have airplanes and have cut flight networks as an epidemic depressed demand for air travel.

Alexandre de Juniak, the group’s director general and CEO, said in a statement, “Even though we recognize that half the needy vaccines can be transported by land, the air cargo industry will still face its biggest single transportation challenge. ”

The association urged government officials to initiate the scheme with the industry so that they could be ready to distribute the vaccines whenever approved. According to the World Health Organization, some 180 potential COVID-19 vaccines are included in 35, which are in various stages of clinical trials.

Workers unload drugs and disposable medical supplies from a Boeing 747, a Chinese Yangtze River Express Airlines.
Workers unload drugs and disposable medical supplies from a Boeing 747, a Chinese Yangtze River Express Airlines.Via AFP Getty Image

In addition to a potentially large number of aircraft, delivery will require temperature-controlled facilities and equipment, while staffing them to deal with infections, as well as handling them, and security arrangements to ensure they are stolen or tampered with Don’t, the group said.

According to IATA, government officials should cut red tape to get international shipments through borders quickly. The association recommended exempting flight crews from rapid tracking and landing permits and quarantine requirements for operations carrying the coronovirus vaccine, among other measures.

“We urge governments to take the lead in facilitating cooperation in the logistics chain so that facilities, security systems and border processes are ready for the huge and complex task ahead,” De Junia said.