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SIA prepares seven Boeing 747 freighters for vaccine distribution

written by Hannah Dowling | December 10, 2020

Singapore Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-400F (Michelle Tia Photography/Airlinerwatch)

Singapore Airlines said that it is ready to transport coronavirus vaccines around the world, and will utilise its seven Boeing 747-400 Freighter aircraft to do so.

The airline also stated it was prepared to reassign its passenger planes for the purpose of vaccine transportation and distribution, if more capacity is needed.

The airline made the comments earlier this week during a press conference.

Earlier this year, SIA created a task force to ensure all aspects of its cargo operations are available for the transportation of time- and temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical shipments upon the release of suitable COVID-19 vaccines.

SIA also said it has signed leasing deals with several cold chain container providers, as thermal protection systems are required to make sure the vaccines are stored according to their temperature requirements.

“In addition to the active tracking of the shipments through these devices, SIA has a 24/7 cargo hub operations team that will monitor the vaccine shipments through its digital operations control tower,” the company noted in the statement.

SIA Cargo carried 22,000 tonnes of pharmaceutical materials in the last financial year (March 2019 – March 2020).


The International Air Transport Association has said it anticipates the global vaccine rollout effort will involve the equivalent capacity of 8,000 Boeing 747 jumbo jets.

The IATA said the global vaccine effort will be the “largest transport challenge” ever seen by the industry.

IATA chief executive Alexandre de Juniac said, “Safely delivering COVID-19 vaccines will be the mission of the century for the global air cargo industry. But it won’t happen without careful advance planning. And the time for that is now.”

Article courtesy of Airlinerwatch. Additional reporting by Hannah Dowling.


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