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Frankfurt Airport and Lufthansa well prepared for handling COVID-19 vaccine

Frankfurt Airport has positioned itself as a European leader in pharmaceutical cargo shipping in preparation for the possible COVID-19 vaccine.

Frankfurt Airport and Lufthansa well prepared for handling COVID-19 vaccine

Credit: Lufthansa Cargo

At Frankfurt Airport (FRA) approximately 120,000 tonnes of vaccines, medications and other pharmaceutical products were handled in 2019, making the airport the European leader. In this position, the airport’s operator, Fraport, and Lufthansa Cargo, together with other partners of the air cargo community at the site, see themselves well prepared for handling a possible COVID-19 vaccine.

Currently, around 12,000m2 of temperature-controlled handling capacity with direct apron access is available at Frankfurt Airport, with two thirds of this located in the highly modern Lufthansa Cargo Pharma Hub, and an additional 2,000m2 of space on the further airport grounds are about to be taken into operation.

These areas meet both international and European standards. For example, Fraport has been meeting the requirements of the CEIV Pharma certificate of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) since 2018, as have 11 other service companies operating in Frankfurt. In addition, there are freight forwarders and airlines that meet the European Union (EU) GDP standard. This means that more than 75 per cent of the transport routes at the airport are certified. In addition, Fraport currently uses 20 ultra-modern thermal transporters to ensure the necessary temperature of the goods on their way across the apron.

Head of Central Cargo Infrastructure at Fraport, Max Philipp Conrady, said: “Frankfurt Airport offers the ideal infrastructural conditions for the handling of pharmaceutical goods. We are closely monitoring the current research for a coronavirus vaccine. When the time comes, we will provide the best possible support, together with our partners, in the distribution of vaccines and medicines. Already during the handling of urgently needed protective equipment and partly vital pharmaceutical goods at the beginning of the year, we showed that we, as a cargo community, make an essential contribution to supplying the population.”

Lufthansa Cargo is also well prepared to fly a possible coronavirus vaccine around the world. With far reaching destinations and 31 pharmaceutical stations worldwide – all of which are to be CEIV Pharma-certified by the end of 2021 – the cargo airline has an excellent network. This means that temperature-sensitive goods, such as vaccines or medicines, can be brought to their destination as quickly as possible.

Jörg Bodenröder, Director of Handling Specials at Lufthansa Cargo, said: “The last few months have clearly shown us how important well-functioning supply chains are, especially in times of crisis. When it comes to transporting a vaccine against the coronavirus, Lufthansa Cargo will also do everything it can to enable fast distribution by air.”

As one of the first airfreight carriers to focus, among other things, on the transport of temperature-sensitive goods, Lufthansa Cargo can draw on many years of experience in the transport of pharmaceuticals. With almost all the transport options available on the market, customers also have access to a broad product portfolio in which nearly all requirements can be met.

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