Since the 3rd week of March 2020, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo has made every effort to maintain its global airfreight network, helping to keep vital supply chains in place. This has always been essential, but even more so since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring that healthcare facilities as well as private citizens have access to medicines, medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical products. Approximately 6,000 cargo-only flights have been carried out in recent months. Air France KLM Martinair Cargo is currently operating services to more than 100 long-haul destinations.
One of the next logistical challenges will be the global distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines. Earlier this week, the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, together with German partner BioNTech, announced great success in the first interim analysis from the Phase III study of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate.
In terms of volume, distributing the vaccines will be an unprecedented logistical operation. Initial expectations are that around 15 billion vaccines will need to be distributed worldwide. Many of these will also need to be distributed at very low temperatures. The Pfizer vaccine must be kept deep frozen (at -70 degrees Celsius). Others will need to be distributed at a constant temperature of between +2 and +8 degrees Celsius. This means that logistical solutions will be essential to maintain quality throughout the vaccine distribution chain.
Senior Vice President Sales & Distribution Air France KLM Martinair Cargo GertJan Roelands: “Air France KLM Martinair Cargo has years of experience with temperature-controlled transportation of pharmaceuticals and was the first airline group to be CEIV certified by IATA. The distribution of Covid-19 vaccines poses specific challenges in terms of volume, transportation requirements and security. In order to be fully prepared for this we started a Covid-19 Vaccine taskforce four months ago. This taskforce represents all the relevant Air France KLM Martinair Cargo departments. Our teams have been working on an extensive action plan. For example, at our Schiphol Pharma Hub, we opened up a 1,118 m3 Climate Controlled storage facility a few months ago and we are building an additional 2,061 m3 additional Cool Room. At our Charles de Gaulle Pharma Hub, a new Climate Controlled storage area is about to be finished. We also introduced Hybrid and Advanced Passive Solutions that will be used to transport the vaccines, on top of existing full range of Active Containers. Along with many other initiatives, extra monitoring and intervention management have also been implemented.”
Executive Vice President Air France-KLM Cargo Adriaan den Heijer: “We believe that cooperation and building communities around the upcoming global vaccines distribution are essential. We’ve established partnerships with many of the parties in the logistical chain, including forwarders, trucking companies, container providers, airports, cargo/logistical associates, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare-related institutes and authorities. We believe that strong cooperation between partners will be essential to successfully executing this logistical challenge.”
Together with Air Cargo Netherlands (ACN) and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and with Aéroport de Paris (already two leading European Pharma hubs), we’ve established two taskforces to fully prepare both airports communities for upcoming vaccine transport operations.
Adriaan den Heijer: “In recent weeks, we successfully shipped the first Covid-19 vaccines. Air France KLM Martinair Cargo is ready for this logistical challenge, ready to deliver coronavirus vaccines to the Netherlands, to France and to many other countries around the globe.”
About Air France KLM Martinair Cargo
The Air France-KLM Group is a global airline group with a strong European base. Its main areas of business are passenger transport, cargo transport and aeronautical maintenance. Air France KLM Martinair Cargo is the Air France-KLM Group’s dedicated air cargo business. Air France-KLM Cargo is a member of SkyTeam Cargo (www.skyteamcargo.com) offering an even larger network coverage.
Air France (Paris) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) issued its financial report for the first six months of 2013 including subsidiary Transavia Airlines (Amsterdam). The group reported an operating profit of $105 for the first half turning around a comparable loss in the first six months of 2012. The group expects to make an operating profit for the entire year.
On May 29 Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will operate their first inflight connectivity flights with Wi-Fi on board. The new service will allow customers to remain connected with the world by being able to send text messages and e-mails and surf the Internet during their flight. On our specially designed inflight website we also offer a broad range of free and up to date services including live television news and sports channels, relevant airline and destination information.
In partnership with Panasonic Avionics, Air France and KLM will conduct a trial phase throughout the rest of 2013 on two Boeing 777-300s. During that time, customers can connect to the internet using their Wi-Fi enabled smartphones, laptops or tablets at a fixed rate and use their mobile phones for text messages or email, no matter what travel class they are in. The two Wi-Fi equipped aircraft will operate on several long-haul destinations during the trial.
During the pilot phase we will offer hourly and full-flight fees: EUR 10.95 per hour or EUR 19.95 for the full flight, applicable for all classes. These fees are in line with industry average. Travellers can pay for their internet access by credit card. Mobile phone usage (for text and data) will be billed to the phone users according to their own roaming agreements. Access to the inflight website will be free of charge.
Wireless service — whether the on-board portal or satellite internet — will commence once the flight has reached 20,000 feet, shortly after take-off.
Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. KLM’s Boeing 777-306 ER PH-BVD (msn 35979) in the SkyTeam livery powerfully climbs away from Paine Field near Everett.