Brussels Airport is the most important European hub for vaccine shipments with daily flights carrying Covid-19 vaccines to more than 60 destinations around the world, including the US and Japan.
In the year since the very first vaccine flight took off back on 27 November in 2020, the airport has handled over 750 million vaccines, according to a press release from the airport.
“I am very proud that we can yet again live up to our role as the most important pharmaceutical hub in Europe and that we can make an important contribution in this pandemic,” said Arnaud Feist, CEO of the Brussels Airport Company.
Brussels Airport has specialised in transporting pharmaceutical products for over ten years. The airport has more than 35,000 m² of temperature-controlled warehousing specifically for pharmaceutical products, the largest area in Europe, which made it relatively easy to begin shipping the temperature-sensitive coronavirus vaccines.
It also has specialised Airside Pharma Transporters (a transport trailer pre-conditioned at the correct temperature in order to hold pharmaceutical shipments during transportation between warehouses and aircraft) and the largest number of pharma-certified companies under the IATA CEIV programme.
‘The partners in the airport’s cargo department have thoroughly prepared themselves in the BRUcare Taskforce for all possible scenarios and requirements for the vaccine transport,’ the airport said in its press release. ‘More than 750 million vaccines have been handled at Brussels Airport, more than half a billion for export and more than 200 million for import.’
The most important airlines responsible for the vaccine transport are DHL Express, United Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, TUI fly, Singapore Airlines, TAP, Iberia, Lufthansa cargo, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic and Qatar Airways.
The vaccines transported are those of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
The airport also handles flights operated within the World Health Organisation’s COVAX programme, which delivers vaccine donations from European Member States to destinations in developing countries.