“Interior view of a cargo plane, filled with boxes of medical supplies, symbolising the aviation industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Wings of resilience: the aviation industry's role during COVID-19

Explore the resilience of the aviation industry during COVID-19. From vital medical supplies to adaptive air cargo, read about the soaring response that defines the industry’s unwavering spirit

As the world faced the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, air cargo emerged as a critical player in the global response, transporting vital medical supplies to those in need.

Pharmaceutical and life science products typically constitute around 2% of air cargo volume. These products, including equipment and medicines, demand stringent handling and transport conditions to keep them in usable condition.

During the pandemic, the aviation landscape shifted dramatically with the cancellation of 4.5 million passenger flights globally, leading to a significant reduction in the belly cargo capacity usually available on these flights. However, over 100 airline carriers transformed passenger aircraft into cargo-only operations to meet the increasing demand for shipping face masks, respirators, ventilators, and other crucial medical supplies.

Transporting the temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccine introduced new challenges to the supply chain. Temperature-controlled management, adherence to international regulatory requirements, and the capability to handle a drastic increase in quantity became crucial considerations to get right all the way through the supply chain

Quality and safety in transporting temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals cannot be compromised. Programmes like the IATA Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) play a vital role in ensuring compliance with operational standards and requirements.

During the crisis of Covid, the air cargo sector proved itself to be highly adaptive, agile, and responsive. In the face of adversity, the aviation industry's swift response not only delivered critical medical supplies but also showcased the unwavering spirit that propels us to new heights.

Source: IATA