Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP) has formed a taskforce to define the steps needed to help ship Covid-19 vaccines.
Working in close consultation with the pharma industry and related forwarders, the airline has assessed specific requirements for shipping Covid-19 vaccines when they become available.
It has adapted its operation in terms of equipment and dedicated monitoring and service, as well as the capacity it can offer.
Enrica Calonghi, global head of pharmaceutical logistics at the carrier, said: “AFKLMP Cargo is ready to play a key role in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, thereby helping to ensure that as many people as possible around the globe will have access to vaccines in these challenging times.”
AFKLMP has operated over 5,500 cargo-only flights since the start of the corona crisis.
GertJan Roelands, senior vice president of sales and distribution at AFKLMP Cargo, said: “Shipping pharma and other medical-related goods is one of our core activities and a strategic priority. From the start, we prioritised pharma commercially and operationally.
“At AFKLMP Cargo, we have a department that is fully dedicated to pharma and healthcare solutions. With this in mind, Air France and KLM were among the first airlines to obtain IATA CEIV certification.”
An airline spokesperson said: “Since the start of the crisis, we have gradually rebuilt our network mainly for relief-related shipments. In recent months, we have constantly added new destinations and flights to our network, mainly operating on a cargo-only basis.
“We have been using our passenger aircraft for cargo charter purposes and have fully utilized our full-freighter fleet. Since the start of the pandemic, we have operated more than 5,500 cargo-only flights.”
AFKLMP Cargo currently offers a network spanning more than 95 long-haul destinations.
The spokesperson added: “In recent years, we have continuously improved our pharma and healthcare-related services by improving processes, training staff and forming dedicated service teams for pharma customers.
“We have invested in infrastructure at both of our hubs, Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS), and we have fully merged our booking and service options via our digital portal myCargo, offering the transparency customers need.”
The spokesperson continued: “Because we realise how important it is to guarantee the required quality, reliability and connectivity throughout supply chains, we not only offer all required infrastructure and capabilities at our CDG and AMS hubs, but also have partnerships with GHAs at all relevant pharma destinations, providing state-of-the-art pharma handling services.
“Our investment in pharma logistics is paying off and our share in the pharma segment has grown significantly in recent years and months.”