Istanbul-based Turkish Cargo, a division of national flag-carrier Turkish Airlines (THY), carried COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in China to Brazil, the company said in a statement Thursday.
The vaccines, loaded inside seven containers equipped with dedicated cooling systems, were transported safely from Beijing to Sao Paulo on a connecting flight through Istanbul.
By carrying pharmaceuticals to key, certified destinations such as Mumbai, Brussels, Istanbul, Singapore, Dubai, Basel, London and Amsterdam, Turkish Cargo created a global pharmaceutical corridor between more than 400 destinations.
The air freighter holds the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) certificate.
Turkish Cargo maintains the cold chain at the optimal conditions thanks to the "TK Pharma" product that was designed for carrying pharmaceuticals at global standards.
The company carried more than 40,000 tons of pharmaceuticals, medical products and medical equipment in January-September and reported over 50% growth for the pharmaceutical shipments during the same period.
THY Chief Cargo Officer Turhan Özen stressed that the company offers industrial solutions such as dedicated temperature-controlled storehouses at minus 20 to minus 25 degrees Celsius (minus 4 to minus 13 Fahrenheit), pharmaceutical maintenance teams, active containers and thermal carriers for maintaining the cross-continental cold chain.
"Thanks to our special cargo shipments, for which we hold all global qualifications and certifications, we are ready to transport the vaccines that are ready or being developed to all across the globe," Özen said.
Turkish Cargo reaches over 300 destinations, 95 of which are direct cargo destinations, with a fleet of 365 aircraft.
The company aims to become one of the top five air cargo brands by 2023.