China Airlines to support vaccine rollout with new service

China Airlines banks on its CEIV Pharma certification and deep cold chain expertise to aid the vaccine rollout in its global network.

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Photo by M Radzi Desa / Wikimedia Commons

China Airlines has launched an ultra-low temperature delivery service down to the -80°C range as it aims to support the Covid-19 vaccine rollout as one of the top cargo airlines in the world.

It is also the only airline in Taiwan to have obtained international pharmaceutical cold chain logistics certification for CEIV Pharma back in 2019. And now it will be able to handle deliveries for cargo chilled to as low as -80°C with dry ice, which is what the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine would require.

Risk assessment and management during air transportation is emphasised by trade association IATA, and the Taipei-based carrier said comprehensive measures were put in place for analysis of station capability before shipping and personnel training.

The airline highlighted its extensive experience in cold chain logistics and management.

“In addition to full-time monitoring during transportation and warehouse priority, owners can also monitor the temperature and battery level of temperature-controlled containers online,” the airline said, noting that the high standard of service and attention to detail during transportation played a critical part in obtaining CEIV certification.

China Airlines says it has extensive experience and internationally-recognized qualifications for cold chain air cargo services.

“Low-temperature cargo are held in containers with active temperature control to shield them from changes in ambient temperature even if moving between the northern and southern hemispheres with their very different seasons. All goods that must be kept between +25°C and -20°C, including flu vaccines, anti-cancer drugs, insulin and rapid test agents, can all be transported in a secure and stable manner,” the airline noted.

China Airlines signed a deal with passive container suppliers to expand its service portfolio to include ultra-low temperature delivery. The airline explained that unlike conventional cold chain logistics in which temperature-controlled containers utilize battery-powered active cooling, passive ultra-low temperature containers require no batteries. A combination of patented vacuum insulated panels and phase change materials effectively maintain the specified temperature for up to 5 days.

A storage temperature as low as -80°C can even be achieved with the addition of dry ice. This provides certain vaccines such as those of Pfizer/BioNTech with the stable and safe temperature they need to maintain their efficacy.

China Airlines’ CEIV Pharma certification, many years of experience in professional transportation, and extensive network covering major European and American cities such as Frankfurt, London, New York and Chicago, mean that it stands ready to meet the demand for vaccine transportation.

As one of the leading cargo carriers in the world, China Airlines has made all the necessary preparations and has received a number of inquiries on transportation plans for different types of vaccines. Talks are underway with partner airlines on opportunities offered by the transshipment of vaccines by other countries, the carrier added.

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