Hyderabad: In a move that will make Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) a cornerstone in exporting Indian COVID-19 vaccine to various parts of the world, the airport’s authority on Monday announced a collaboration with airports to build a vaccine air freight corridor product called ‘HYDXB-VAXCOR’ (‘Hyderabad to Dubai global Vaccine Corridor).
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the same was signed between Pradeep Panicker, CEO-GMR Hyderabad International Airport, Saurabh Kumar, CEO-GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo and Eugene Barry, EVP-Commercial and Dubai Airports Corporation in a virtual ceremony organized last week.
As per the MoU, GMR-HYD and Dubai Airports will be according to priority to the temperature-sensitive vaccine shipments moving between GMR Hyderabad and Dubai airports for further connections to various continents as part of the “HYDXB-VAXCOR” and build this service offering as a key differentiator and value proposition for the vaccine customers and logistics stakeholders.
Commenting on this development, Mr. Pradeep Panicker, CEO, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. said, “In the current global context, there is a need for meticulous planning and collaborations to ensure safe and efficient air transportation of COVID-19 vaccines.” GMR is also significantly upgrading handling capacities for COVID-19 vaccine shipments requiring cold to ultra-cold temperature ranges to become India’s largest air cargo center both for export/imports and domestic distribution of the vaccine.
“Our partnership with GMR-Hyderabad is timed perfectly just as the global race to develop the vaccines enters the final stage. This corridor is the result of our proactive strategy to be ready with innovative, collaborative and agile shipping solutions for the industry,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
With Hyderabad and its nearby regions being home to concentrations of vaccine manufacturing capacity in the world, it is expected that the majority of Indian manufactured vaccines will be exported from Hyderabad airport to various parts of the globe. Hyderabad is also expected to cater to the import requirements of manufactures from across the country as well as leverage its air connectivity for domestic distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Earlier on Sunday, India approved the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.