Air Freight News

American Airlines joins White House to distribute COVID-19 vaccine globally

Jul 09, 2021

As part of the White House initiative to share at least 80 million U.S. vaccine doses globally this summer, American Airlines moved 1.5 million coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine doses from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City on a Boeing 777-200 aircraft. The shipment departed ORD this morning.

Pallets containing 1.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine wait at American's Chicago O'Hare (ORD) Cargo facility to be loaded onto the flight to Guatemala City (GUA).
Pallets containing 1.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine wait at American’s Chicago O’Hare (ORD) Cargo facility to be loaded onto the flight to Guatemala City (GUA).

In close consultation with the White House COVID-19 task force, American’s Cargo team worked with pharmaceutical partners and trucking logistics specialists to move the shipment of vaccinations from a distribution site in Kentucky to American’s cargo terminal at ORD. The shipments were loaded onto the 777-200 and flew on a special donated cargo-only nonstop flight to GUA.

“We commend President Biden and the White House for their commitment to distribute life-saving vaccines to people around the world to bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, and our team is proud to have a hand in the effort and deliver vaccines to Guatemala,” said American Airlines President Robert Isom. “We are grateful to our team for the work they’ve done throughout the pandemic to keep the country moving and deliver critical supplies.”

American moved its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020. Since the beginning of the pandemic, American has leveraged its internationally recognized climate-controlled shipping solutions to fly more than 9,400 cargo only flights moving everything from vaccines and pharmaceuticals to perishable and agricultural goods.

The COVID-19 vaccine doses are loaded into the cargo compartment of the Boeing 777-200 aircraft.
The COVID-19 vaccine doses are loaded into the cargo compartment of the Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

With specialized facilities and its team of certified life-sciences experts, American handles temperature-critical shipments in more than 150 cities in 46 countries, and also operates the largest temperature-controlled pharmaceutical shipping facility for airlines in the United States. This level of expert care has earned American the International Air Transport Association’s prestigious Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) certification — the premier distinction for airlines that have established the tools, procedures and staffing to ensure life sciences products are properly handled and arrive at their destination fully effective.

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