It is a major challenge that air transport is about to take up. Air transport undermined by the health crisis and by a violent sling of environmentalists, but which will nevertheless play a decisive role in the fight against the coronavirus and no doubt save thousands of lives.
In a few weeks, if all goes well, if the encouraging prospects of pharmaceutical companies are confirmed, billions of doses of vaccines will have to be transported across the planet. However, contrary to what one might think, a vaccine is not a trivial commodity. Its transport, at very low temperatures, requires the installation of specialized storage facilities and equipment. Otherwise, thousands of doses could be unintentionally deteriorated.
And if in normal times, the sector is accustomed to perishable foodstuffs, the current crisis makes this operation very complex, described as “challenge of the century” “by the International Air Transport Association. If the borders remain closed, the fleets grounded, and the employees technically unemployed, the ability to deliver the vaccines that will save lives will be seriously compromised, said Alexandre de Juniac, director general of IATA.
The international air transport association hopes not to see a recurrence of the problems of transporting masks from last spring, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. According to IATA, it will take the equivalent of at least 8,000 full-cargo Boeing 747s to deliver the future vaccine to everyone on the planet.
The association is sounding the alarm and urging governments to take action to facilitate airline operations, with simplified customs procedures, quarantine exemptions for crews, and expedited traffic rights issues