By John McDermott, airlinegeeks.com
On Friday, United Airlines began operating charter flights to begin the distribution of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is poised to be approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by mid-December.
United’s Distribution Plan
The Wall Street Journal, citing a letter from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), reports that United will start by flying dedicated cargo flights between Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Brussels Airport.
As part of the flights, United has sought permission to carry more dry ice than usually allowed on aircraft to maintain the extremely low temperatures that Pfizer’s vaccine must be stored in. Though airlines usually get to carry up to 3,000 pounds of dry ice per flight, the FAA says it will allow United to carry up to 15,000 pounds of dry ice per flight. Pfizer has developed suitcase-sized containers with dry ice to keep vaccine doses cold.