On February 6, 2021, the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine in Africa arrived on an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Beijing (BJS) to Addis Ababa (ADD).
The largest airline in Africa, Ethiopian Airlines announced it had transported the first COVID-19 vaccine shipment to Africa on a dedicated flight. “We are glad that we have launched the delivery of our mission-critical service with the distribution of the much-anticipated COVID-19 vaccine,” said the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Tewolde GebreMariam.
“We will be repeating the remarkable and globally recognized success in leading the fast delivery of PPE a few months ago with similar delivery speed, professional handling and maintaining the cool chain during the global vaccine distribution,” added GebreMariam.
The delivery is part of the partnership agreement, signed in December 2020, between Ethiopian Airlines and Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, to launch cold chain cargo operations for the transportation of temperature-sensitive medicines.
Already in November 2020, Ethiopian Cargo, Ethiopian Airlines’ cargo division, announced it was ready for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine across Africa and the rest of the world. With a capacity of 1 million tons, the company has the largest cargo terminal in Africa and temperature-controlled storage facilities.