As the pandemic gets stronger and isn’t about to just go away, it is important for countries to be prepared and stock up on medical supplies. It is very important that the medical staff and Canadian citizens get their protective equipment to fight this pandemic. In order to get those supplies, trucks and boats are used and all Canadian freight forwarding companies have helped in this endeavor.
To have more supplies entering the country, medical supply transportation has been modified. Refrigerated containers and medical truck refrigerators are now much more commonly used. But what about planes?
Planes being used for medical equipment transport
When we think about planes and airlines, we automatically associate them with travel, business and tourism, but not often do we think about using them to transport medical equipment. As operations slowed down at Air Canada, their planes are now a key element in the medical supply transport. In order to fly a lot of supplies, the passenger cabins have been reconfigured and now have double the cargo capacity. They can even transport up to 89 tons of equipment, which is equivalent to 9 million medical masks!
Air Canada decided to reconfigure three Boeing 777-3000ER aircrafts so they can transport all the medical supplies as well as cargo in Canada. Why were the planes modified? Well, they are the largest in the Air Canada fleet and when they are empty, it is possible to double the supplies. Also, 422 seats were removed from each plane, which is perfect to create loading zones and safety netting. Of course, the work was overseen by the Air Canada engineering team and then certified and approved by Transport Canada.
Tim Strauss, the Vice President of Cargo at Air Canada, didn’t think twice about modifying the planes because “Bringing critical medical and other vital supplies rapidly to Canada and helping distribute them across the country is imperative to combating the COVID-19 crisis.” As for the transport, 20 all-cargo flights are planned per week.
Those newly altered planes transport time sensitive equipment to Canada and the rest of the world. Which means that the urgent medical supplies will arrive faster to all countries, and that also aids the Canadian economy.
What are the advantages of air transportation for medical supply?
Even though the transportation of pharmaceutical products is very lucrative, we have seen a lack of standardization across the aviation industry. Only 0.5 million tons of pharmaceutical products are transported by air every year. In consequence, the sector is losing out to other modes of transportation such as road or sea travel with 3.5 million tons transported each year.
But why aren’t planes used like the other means of transportation? Well, due to its temperature-sensitive nature, medical cargo needs to be transported quickly and efficiently, but it is quite difficult to safely handle the cargo across the entire supply chain. According to the IATA (International Air Transport Association), a change of temperature occurs while the products are in airports, which makes the products worthless and dangerous for the patients when they reach their destination.
Nevertheless, measures can be put in place to have efficient and fast medical transport.
Here are some advantages of using air freight for transportation:
In conclusion, we can see that even though the planes are not well used for medical transport yet, they are on the right path to becoming one of the best medical transport in the future. With all the standards, technology and practices put in place, planes will become extremely important to safely and quickly transporting medical equipment around the world.
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