Ever since the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the cargo team at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has left no stone unturned in aiding the nation towards a seamless and efficient transportation of all essential goods.
CSMIA facilitated the arrival of over 17,700 Oxygen concentrators, 3,19,800 vials of Remdesivir injections and 1,13,900 vials of Tocilizumab injections approximately in the period between April 26 and May 14 to cater to the increase in demand of these goods for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in India.
COVID-19 Second Wave
With the advent of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, CSMIA has facilitated the transportation of over 387 tonnes of COVID-19 relief supplies. Since the first shipment which arrived on April 26, CSMIA has registered the arrival of approximately 110 flights originating from 20 destinations across the globe.
The airport has been prioritising the shipments of essential medical supplies and achieved an overall processing time of 15 minutes, including offloading and storage.
With COVID-19 relief aid pouring in from across the globe, CSMIA witnessed the arrival of essential pharmaceutical supplies from 20 countries including Singapore, Mauritius, Netherlands, Indonesia, China, Scotland, South Korea, Malaysia, England, France, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Poland, Turkey, Germany, Dubai, South Africa, Thailand, California, and Hong Kong.
Essential Pharma Goods at CSMIA
CSMIA supported approximately 110 domestic and international arrivals in the trans-shipment of essential pharmaceutical goods related to COVID-19 to Mumbai.
These include airlines such as IndiGo, Air Asia, Singapore Airlines, Air Mauritius, China Eastern Airline, Qatar Airways, Sri Lankan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airlines, KLM Airlines, Fly Montserrat, Saudi Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, All Nippon and British Airways to name a few.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at CSMIA has been relentlessly operating the cargo handling activities to cater to the greater need to mobilize and supply essential life-saving commodities across India and the world.
CSMIA has a well-defined process for the faster turnaround of the essential medical goods and trans-shipment movements. Furthermore, the airport’s state-of-the-art cargo facilities such as Asia’s largest temperature-controlled Export Pharma Excellence Centre and Pharma-dedicated Import Cold Zone which enables a smooth and hassle-free operation.
A leading expert in the movement of pharmaceutical goods, CSMIA is committed to ensuring the seamless and quick transportation of essential pharmaceutical supplies and equipment during these challenging times of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, IndiGo said it transported 81,437kg of covid vaccine shipments between 12 January and 12 April from key vaccine manufacturing points in Pune, Hyderabad and Mumbai, securing a leading market share of 36.6% in the vaccine transport segment.
The airline is also sourcing four Airbus A321ceo aircraft, each of which will be converted from a passenger jet to a full freighter configuration.
Meanwhile, no-frill carrier AirAsia India has transported over 50 tonnes of vaccine cargo to date, carrying about 17 million doses or about 18-20% of total vaccines transported across the country, a company spokesperson was quoted by Mint as saying.
“We have offered committed cargo space in our commercial flights to freight agents appointed by Serum India and Bharat Biotech that they have utilized. We can also operate cargo-only flights for ferrying COVID-19 vaccine in case any pharma firm has to air transport large volumes,” the spokesperson added.
Dedicated Cargo Planes
IndiGo and SpiceJet have dedicated cargo planes for vaccine transport, while other airlines utilise the belly cargo space of their passenger planes. Airlines have also increased their dedicated cargo capacities to move goods, medicines, groceries, and other supplies.
A Vistara spokesperson was quoted as having said that the airline has been working with the relevant logistics companies for facilitating vaccine transport.
National carrier Air India, too, saw its cargo operations grow after introducing all-cargo flights on certain sectors, mostly international, an airline official said.
“Air India is doing its bit in transporting cargo, including vaccines, on the belly of passenger aircraft,” the official said, adding cargo remains a key source of revenue for the airline in the absence of growth in passenger traffic.