Turkish Cargo, a division of Turkey’s national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY), completed a special cargo flight from China to Brazil carrying the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Istanbul-based cargo operator carried 7 containers equipped with cooling systems and loaded with COVID-19 vaccines from Beijing, China to Sao Paulo, Brazil, announced Turkish Airlines in the press release on November 19, 2020.
According to the statement, to meet the increased demand for pharmaceuticals and vaccine transportation, Turkish Cargo expanded its temperature-controlled warehouse with an additional area of 1,200 square meters. After acquiring additional 150 aircraft pallets, the carrier also boosted its cold chain transportation scale to 25,000 tonnes per month.
Turhan Ozen, Chief Cargo Officer at Turkish Airlines, said that the carrier aims to become one of the leading air cargo brands in 2023. Ozen also outlined a 50% growth in the shipments of pharmaceutical products in a period between January and September 2020. This led the carrier to transport up to 40,000 tons of medical products cargo.
In April 2020, Turkish Cargo received three certifications allowing the company to transport pharmaceuticals. The certifications, all obtained under the IATA Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) program, are CEIV Pharma, CEIV Fresh, and CEIV Live Animals.