The COVID-19 vaccines require a cold chain that provides temperature-controlled environments during transportation and storage. The range of required temperature varies by product type such as cryogenic temperatures below -60°C; refrigeration below -20°C; and temperature maintenance between 2 and 8°C.
Korean Air loaded the vaccine ingredients in special containers for medical items that maintain cryogenic temperatures below -60°C and can maintain temperatures below -70℃ even without power for 120 hours.
Korean Air’s COVID-19 vaccine transport task force, launched in September, has been preparing for cryogenic temperature transportation of COVID-19 vaccines. “Korean Air’s task force is reviewing all aspects concerning the vaccine’s transport, and we are developing a strong system and infrastructure for its safe and swift distribution,” said EUM Jae Dong, Senior Vice President and Head of Cargo Business Division at Korean Air.
“Korean Air Cargo has a proven expertise in transporting pharmaceutical items, and we were certified by IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators on Pharmaceutical Handling (CEIV Pharma) last June, a certification for the excellence in air transport of medicines.”
Korean Air has been actively transporting emergency freight during the COVID-19 pandemic including medical equipment and personal protection equipment (PPE). In particular, Korean Air has been shipping test kits around the world and is increasing its capacity to deliver supplies by operating passenger jets for cargo-only flights and removing seats on passenger aircraft.
“Based on our considerable experience in delivering specialized cargo, Korean Air is ready and committed to transport the vaccine ingredient and vaccines as safely and quickly as possible,” EUM added.