“Within three hours of being engaged, Delta Cargo had the vaccines in hand and on their way. Our successful COVID-19 vaccine shipments this week prove what we’ve known for a long time: that we’re ready and able to take on more in the all-hands-on-deck domestic and global distribution effort of this life-saving vaccine,” said Rob Walpole, Vice President – Delta Cargo. “Our vaccine task force, which was created months ago to understand the shipping requirements and work with healthcare and pharmaceutical experts, has built scalable critical shipment capabilities to support this effort.”
Delta’s extensive experience in shipping vaccines involves years of building an operation validated against Pharma industry standards and includes being the first U.S. passenger airline to receive IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators Pharma Logistics Certification at our Atlanta hub and headquarters. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta offered four tailored pharmaceutical shipping options which meet specific temperature requirements for vaccines – ensuring integrity through the entire journey.
With large warehouses and cooler facilities in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York-JFK and Seattle, and a network of 49 certified Pharma airports across the globe, Delta has the necessary infrastructure in place to support COVID-19 vaccine shipments. In addition to robust domestic shipment capabilities to support rapid distribution within the U.S., Delta has a broad and nimble global distribution network in coordination with strong airline partners – providing worldwide reach with stop-gap reliability and greater ability to warehouse and ship vaccines from more global hubs.
Delta Cargo launched a Cargo Charter operation in March to provide safe and reliable transportation of goods around the globe by working primarily with Delta’s established world-leading logistics partners. Delta dispatched idled aircraft on cargo-only flights to transport millions of pounds of supplies quickly and safely. Delta has operated over 1,800 cargo charter flights since February and is now averaging 30 cargo-only flights globally each week, carrying medical and PPE equipment, pharmaceuticals, U.S. mail, home office supplies and food.