Emirates mobilizes for COVID-19 vaccine airlift

Emirates mobilizes for COVID-19 vaccine airlift
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Updated 20 November 2020

Emirates mobilizes for COVID-19 vaccine airlift

Emirates mobilizes for COVID-19 vaccine airlift

LONDON: Dubai-based carrier Emirates is gearing up to distribute COVID-19 vaccines as pharma companies mobilize for the challenging logistics of delivering them to users.

It comes as airlines have warned that continuing travel curbs could potentially slow the distribution of the vaccines because of the high proportion of air cargo transported in the bellies of passenger planes.

As one of the big “super connector” hubs of global travel, Dubai and its airline may play an important role in the months ahead as the new COVID-19 vaccines move into mass production.

“In the scenario where a COVID-19 vaccine would have to be stored at extremely low temperatures, vaccine manufacturers will include passive packaging incorporating dry ice in order to maintain the vaccines at the required temperature,” an Emirates SkyCargo spokesperson told Arab News.

“At our dedicated GDP certified COVID-19 airside hub in Dubai, we would be able to provide value added services including re-icing to help maintain the vaccines at the specified low temperature over a longer period of time.”

Earlier, BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin told CNN said that the company, which has been working on a COVID-19 vaccine with Pfizer, will file paperwork for the emergency use of its vaccine with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday.

Şahin said he expected the approval process to be completed and distribution to begin before the end of the year.

“I am confident that if everything goes well, and we have a very organized vaccine supply, that we could have a normal winter 2021 — a normal summer and winter 2021,” said Şahin.

Pfizer has said that a final analysis of the phase 3 trial of its coronavirus vaccine showed it was 95 percent effective in preventing infections, even in older adults.

Other major airline groups are also preparing for distribution of the planned new vaccines. Air France-KLM said this week that it was preparing a test run to fly out dummy vaccine shipments from the KLM hub at Amsterdam-Schiphol.

Last year Emirates SkyCargo transported more than 75 million kilograms of pharmaceuticals on its aircraft.

Since 2016, the carrier has invested heavily in developing EU GDP certified infrastructure for transporting pharmaceuticals and introduced a specialized product ‘Emirates Pharma’ with three tiers for transporting temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals.

Last month Emirates SkyCargo revealed plans to establish the world’s first dedicated airside cargo hub for the vaccine in Dubai. The air cargo carrier is setting up its Emirates SkyCentral DWC cargo terminal in Dubai South to serve as a dedicated hub for cold chain storage and distribution of the vaccine.


Market traders ready to ride ‘Biden bounce’

Market traders ready to ride ‘Biden bounce’
Updated 19 January 2021

Market traders ready to ride ‘Biden bounce’

Market traders ready to ride ‘Biden bounce’
  • "Biden moving into the White House could drive markets into a bull run more sharply than previous inaugurations," a financial expert says

DUBAI: Investors are expecting a “Biden bounce” in global markets following the inauguration on Wednesday of Joe Biden as the 46th US president.

“History teaches us that we can expect the markets to react favorably to the inauguration of a new US president — and this time around it is likely to be no different,” said Nigel Green, CEO of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisers, with over 80,000 clients and $12 billion under advisement.

“Indeed, Biden moving into the White House could drive markets into a bull run more sharply than previous inaugurations because it is hoped the incoming administration will bring stability and, possibly, a halt to the uncertainty following the fiercely contested election. 

“Investors will also be buoyed by the $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus announced by Biden, the Federal Reserve’s willingness to support markets, the new president’s multilateral trade agenda and his plans for stepping up the vaccine rollout. All of this will encourage confidence and optimism,” Green said.

Mazen Al-Sudairi, head of research at Riyadh-based financial services company Al Rajhi Capital, agreed with the optimism regarding a “Biden bounce.”

“One of the important outcomes with Biden is stability in the market. But there is also the stimulus factor coupled with the vaccine that is giving an indication of recovery in the market. This perceived unity in the US will be healthy for the global and Saudi market,” he told Arab News.

However, Green said that investors should be cautious for three reasons: “First, a market rally is going to be difficult to sustain indefinitely due to the enormous economic scarring caused by the pandemic.

“The major long-term headwind is mass unemployment, which is hitting demand, growth and investment on Main Street and which, ultimately, will have to impact Wall Street.

“Second, the new administration will have policies that will have an effect on different sectors of the economy. There will be a readjustment period that needs to be taken into account.

“And, third, not all shares are created equal and stock markets are heavily unbalanced at the moment. A handful of sectors are bringing up entire indexes,” he said.