The Hyderabad International Airport Limited and GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo have signed an MoU with Dubai Airports for establishing an “exclusive” Vaccine Air Freight Corridor Product called HYDXB-VAXCOR.
The infra major, in a press release, said the MoU was signed in the backdrop of the city becoming a hub for COVID-19 vaccine and other antidotes with several vaccine manufacturers having their bases in Hyderabad.
Pradeep Panicker, CEO-GMRHIA, said there is a need for meticulous planning and collaborations to ensure safe and efficient air transportation of the vaccines. As such, he said, HYDXB-VAXCOR is being offered for global distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines. “We are also significantly upgrading our handling capacities for COVID-19 vaccine shipments requiring cold to ultra-cold temperature ranges, and becoming India’s largest Air Cargo centre both for Exports/Imports and Domestic distribution of the vaccine,” Panicker explained.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Aiports, said a major surge in demand for the efficient, safe and reliable global distribution of high volumes of COVID-19 vaccines is expected in the coming months. “As the world’s pre-eminent hub of choice, we wanted to be ready to respond to and accommodate that demand,” Griffiths said. “Our partnership with GMR-Hyderabad is timed perfectly just as the global race to develop the vaccines enters the final stage.” The executive highlighted that the corridor is the result of their proactive strategy to be ready with innovative, collaborative and agile shipping solutions for the industry.
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport and Dubai Airports, as per the MoU, will be according priority to the temperature sensitive vaccine shipments moving between both the airports for further connections to various continents as part of the “HYDXB-VAXCOR” and build this service offering as a key differentiator and value proposition for the vaccine customers and logistics stakeholders.
The agreement will lead to the rollout of customized and simplified processes and infrastructural support to streamline the journey of the COVID-19 vaccine, right from the manufacturing unit to the airport and hub logistics to delivery to end-customers.
Moreover, the partnership also entails technology collaboration, under which the entities will explore and work together on an integrated IT solution, that will provide end-to-end visibility, including shipment temperature and status tracking for the customers while cargo is in transit between Hyderabad and Dubai, as well as its onwards journey to various global destinations.