IATA expects 8,000 747 cargo aircraft to be needed for vaccine transport
The association is calling for careful advance planning and is urging governments to begin cooperating with industry stakeholders to ensure full preparedness when vaccines for Covid-19 are approved and available for distribution.
“We urge governments to take the lead in facilitating cooperation across the logistics chain so that the facilities, security arrangements and border processes are ready for the mammoth and complex task ahead,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.
The association also warned of potentially severe capacity constraints in transporting vaccines by air as, with the severe downturn in passenger traffic, airlines have downsized networks and put many aircraft into remote long-term storage.
According to IATA, the potential size of the delivery is enormous and expects 8,000 747 cargo aircraft to be needed to just provide a single dose to 7.8 billion people.
“In planning their vaccine programs, particularly in the developing world, governments must take very careful consideration of the limited air cargo capacity that is available at the moment,” said de Juniac, adding that if borders remain closed, travel curtailed, fleets grounded and employees furloughed, the capacity to deliver life-saving vaccines will be very much compromised.