Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service
Hyderabad, January 4
While the nation rejoices the availability of COVID-19 vaccine in the near future, Hyderabad is particularly jubilant after the authorities manning the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport signed an MoU with the Dubai Airport to establish a Vaccine Air Freight Corridor to ferry the corona vaccine under the given regulations.
The GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited and GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo shared the development of building an exclusive Vaccine Air Freight Corridor Product called HYDXB-VAXCOR (Hyderabad to Dubai global Vaccine Corridor) in collaboration with the Dubai Airport.
The MoU was signed in a virtual meet between Pradeep Panicker, CEO, GMR Hyderabad International Airport; Saurabh Kumar, CEO, GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo; and Eugene Barry, EVP, Commercial, Dubai Airports Corporation.
Both the airports will now give priority to the temperature-sensitive vaccine shipments moving between the two airports for onward connection.
Bharat Biotech and some other Hyderabad-based labs have conducted trials and are currently producing the vaccine that will act as a back-up to the Serum Institute vaccine in India.
According to an official statement: “The partnership also entails technology collaboration, under which the entities will explore and work together on an integrated IT solution that will provide end-to-end visibility including shipment temperature and status tracking for the customers while cargo is in transit between Hyderabad and Dubai and during its onwards journey to various global destinations”.
“We are also significantly upgrading our handling capacities for Covid-19 vaccine shipments requiring cold to ultra-cold temperature ranges and becoming India’s largest air cargo centre, both for export/import, and domestic distribution of the vaccine,” said Panicker.
This corridor, both airport authorities said, was a result of a proactive strategy to be ready with innovative, collaborative and agile shipping solutions for the industry.