Mumbai’s CSMIA Ships 4 Million Covishield Vaccine Doses to Brazil, Morocco

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CSMIA - aviatorsbuzz
The international shipment of the Covishield vaccine from Mumbai to Morocco was witnessed by his Excellency Mohamed Maliki, Ambassador of His Majesty the King of Morocco to the Republic of India. Source: CSMIA

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) initiated the international shipment of Covishield vaccine to Brazil and Morocco in the early hours of January 22.

CSMIA Facilitates Shipments

The Covishield vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, departed from CSMIA carrying 2 million doses to Brazil via Emirates Sky Cargo and 2 million doses to Morocco on Royal Air Maroc. In support of the Covid-19 vaccination drive, it is the first airport in the country to export the vaccine to international destinations.

As of January 22, Mumbai airport facilitated the movement of over 14.17 million doses of the Covishield vaccine across various international and domestic destinations.

As a premier pharma hub of the country, the airport has placed a well-defined process for the faster turnaround of COVID-19 vaccine EXIM and transshipment movements. Given the requirement for timely and temperature-controlled movement of the vaccine, the existing infrastructure at the airport enables the airport to offer a continuous temperature-controlled movement and seamless processing of pharma goods through the airport.

The SOPs implemented by the airport in anticipation of the vaccine distribution saw the terminal register a cargo processing time of just 23 minutes, right from goods acceptance to dispatch at the ramp.

CSMIA SpiceJet - aviatorsbuzz
The first box of COVID vaccines being loaded by SpiceJet on a Pune-Delhi flight. Source: SpiceJet

CSMIA Handling Sensitive Pharmaceuticals

The Mumbai airport handles largest portion of EXIM pharmaceutical air cargo movements in the country and has a vast experience in handling sensitive pharmaceuticals shipments. The airport has handled 40 to 50 tons of vaccines per day.

The airport is home to Asia’s largest temperature-controlled Export Pharma Excellence Centre, a facility that has a one-time holding capacity of 800 tons for 2-8 degrees and can cater to cargo meant for seven freighters at a time, as well as a Pharma-dedicated Import Cold Zone offering 860 tons of +15 to +25 degrees storage and cold chambers offering 300 tons of +2 to +8 degrees storage.

Mumbai airport is also India’s largest hub for ‘Envirotainer’ movements with over 60 power outlets for processing Pharma active containers; CSMIA’s “Envirotainer Station” has processed over 2500 active containers within the airport and distribution to major Pharma gateway airports across the country. With such state-of-the-art facilities, it is well equipped to handle and distribute the vaccine consignments in India and the world.

Currently Mumbai airport witnesses on an average around 14 to 15 cargo flights per day and handles an average of 800 tons of export and 700 tons of import cargo in a day. CSMIA is well connected globally and caters to over 500 destinations, with 27% of its overall exports to Europe, 20% to America and 20% to African countries.

Direct Cargo Movement via CSMIA

The airport offers direct cargo connectivity to major destinations such as Europe, America, Middle East, Africa, Japan, China, Hongkong and Singapore, and 60 domestic cities wherein it connects within 10 hours to Europe, 15 hours to America, 5.5 hours to the Far East and 5.5 hours to African destinations.

With real-time temperature updates, trained and experienced workforce, and stringent security arrangements, the airport operator is committed to support the Pharma, Air cargo community and initiatives of Government of India for the efficient and seamless transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine across all borders.

Meanwhile, with Serum India Institute’s Covishield consignments dispatched to Mauritius, Seychelles, India also fulfilled its Vaccine Maitri commitment under which the country promised to ship COVID-19 vaccines to six of its neighbors as a goodwill gesture.

On Friday, the spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry Anurag Srivastava was the first person to post pictures on Twitter, saying Consignments of Indian made COVID vaccines being airlifted for Seychelles and Mauritius.

Earlier this week, India had announced a vaccine rollout for Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles in line with its Neighbourhood First Policy. The only neighbour absent from India’s list apart from China, is Pakistan, which is believed to have not requested for assistance, according to Indian government officials as reported by Mint.

On January 19 Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India was deeply honoured to be a long-trusted partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community.