Around the world, research is ongoing to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. Lufthansa Cargo and Frankfurt Airport are working together to prepare to ship the vaccine around the world once the time comes, according to the airport today.
COVID-19 has brought the aviation industry to its knees. However, it looks as though the industry will play a key role in fighting back. Once a COVID-19 vaccine hits the market, temperature-controlled flights will be required to move it around the globe to innoculate patients. As such, while researchers are busy developing the vaccine, airlines and airports are busy preparing to transport it.
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A global cargo hub
Frankfurt Airport is one of Europe’s major cargo hubs. As a result, it remained one of the busiest airports per number of flight movements at the height of the crisis on the continent. Alongside two dedicated cargo areas, Cargo City North and Cargo City South, the airport also handles cargo found in the bellies of passenger aircraft.
The airport’s position as a cargo hub meant that while Heathrow saw passenger and cargo figures plummet, cargo figures at Germany’s aviation capital remained relatively stable. Of course, passenger figures for the airport still dropped.
12,000 square meters are already ready
Today Frankfurt Airport revealed that it already has 12,000 square meters of temperature-controlled handling capacity available. This storage has direct apron access, meaning that vaccines would find the journey from the temperature-controlled environment of the aircraft as short as possible. Additionally, Frankfurt Airport has 20 temperature-controlled transporters, meaning that critical temperatures can be maintained on the airside journey too.
But it doesn’t stop there. The airport is about to open a further 2,000sqm of space, bringing the total to 14,000sqm. Commenting, Max Philipp Conrady, Head of Central Cargo Infrastructure at Fraport said,
“We are closely monitoring the current research for a corona vaccine… Already during the handling of urgently needed protective equipment and partly vital pharmaceutical goods at the beginning of the year, we showed that we, as a cargo community, make an essential contribution to supplying the population”
Lufthansa Cargo is also preparing
When the COVID-19 pandemic began to kick in, Lufthansa was one of the first airlines to start dedicating passenger aircraft to keeping cargo moving. It therefore comes as no surprise that the German flag carrier is also hard at work preparing for the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine.
One of Lufthansa Cargo’s key offerings is that it has a focus on transporting temperature-sensitive goods. In particular, the airline has many years worth of experience transporting pharmaceuticals. It aims to have all of its 31 pharmaceutical stations in far-reaching destinations CEIV-certified by 2021.
Are you pleased to see that Frankfurt Airport is preparing to handle a COVID-19 vaccine? Let us know what you think in the comments!