ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Airlines’ Cargo & Logistics Services has so far transported close to 400 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to various destinations across the world, the national flag carrier said on Saturday.
The Airlines made the first vaccine shipment from Beijing to N’Djamena via Addis Ababa a year ago, on February 7, 2021.
To date, Ethiopian, Africa’s largest air cargo network operator, said it has transported close to 400 million doses of the vaccines to 35 countries.
“Ethiopian airlines.. is proud to have transported close to 400 Million doses of COVID 19 vaccines to over 35 countries across the globe”, said the airlines in a statement on its Facebook page.
“Let’s make cargo shipment more efficient and safe together,” it added.
The Airlines turned to cargo services to shore up revenue soon after the pandemic broke out in 2020 during which the number of passengers declined sharply.
The decision to shift to cargo service made the airlines instrumental in facilitating the flow of medical supplies including PPE across the globe in support of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
It has also helped the airlines to remain cash positive as the online shopping surge and pandemic-linked supply chain disruptions driving demand for cargo space.
“For us, Ethiopian Airlines, the cargo business is strong and I would say is a breadwinner in the group,” said Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, while addressing the Travel and Connectivity Business Forum in Dubai, last month.
The airline is operating close to 70% of its pre-pandemic capacity. However, the airlines is “cash-positive. We are profitable,” according to its CEO.
In December, 2021, Ethiopian Airlines also becomes the first African carrier to receive IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics or CEIV Pharma certification.
Featured Image: The airlines transported and delivered more than 450,000 doses of J&J Covid-19 vaccine, donated by the US, to Ethiopia, on Monday, July 19, 2021.