Korean Air has made this announcement:
One of the world’s largest air freight companies, Korean Air, has signed an agreement with UNICEF for global transportation of COVID-19 vaccine and medical equipment.
UNICEF is responsible for the global supply of vaccines as part of its effort for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. The plan is to provide around 145 countries with vaccines in the first half of the year.
Cooperation from airlines like Korean Air with global supply chains, capabilities and expertise is essential to transporting the vaccines around the world. UNICEF has selected 16 airlines, including Korean Air, to work with based on strict standards such as a global network, cargo capacity and experience shipping specialized cargo such as medical items.
Last September, Korean Air launched a task force to ensure that vaccines could be safely transported by the airline considering the unique requirements for temperature and storage. Some types require temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius, refrigeration below -20 degrees Celsius, or temperature maintenance between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius.
With the signing of the agreement with UNICEF, Korean Air will continue its leadership role in transporting COVID-19 vaccines and medical supplies. The airline is committed to participate in these humanitarian and relief shipments as long as necessary.
UNICEF is a United Nations agency established in 1946 to provide aid to children around the world. As the world’s largest medical distribution organization, UNICEF has procured and distributed more than 2 billion vaccines, medicines and medical supplies annually worldwide for the past 20 years.
On the financial side, Korean Air posted an operating profit of 109 billion won ($97.55 million) in 2020, as cargo sales helped offset a slump in passenger travel on the back of coronavirus restrictions according to Reuters.