The HOPE Consortium has partnered with Kenya-based cargo airline, Astral Aviation, to offer Covid-19 vaccine distribution solutions to Africa.
The two entities have formed a strategic partnership with the aim of accelerating vaccine distribution to African nations.
Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Sanjeev Gadhia, CEO of Astral Aviation said, “We are truly honoured to partner with the HOPE Consortium and participate in the critical distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, based on our track record in performing humanitarian initiatives and vaccine flights within Africa.”
Gadhia said that Astral will add further technological and warehousing solutions for distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines from the hub in Abu Dhabi, to all the 54 countries in Africa directly or via its Nairobi Hub, which occupies 9,000 square meters of cold-storage facilities.
“It is worth mentioning that Astral has also been selected by UNICEF to perform vaccine flights for COVAX and for the African Union via the African Medical Supplies Platform,” said Gadhia.
The partnership highlights the HOPE Consortium’s efforts in reinforcing partnerships that focus on fighting the Covid-19 global pandemic, as well as fulfilling the organisation’s mission as a global logistics facilitator, by aiding in vaccine delivery.
As part of the partnership agreement, both entities will focus on intra-African cooperation to enhance vaccine distribution within the African continent. The HOPE Consortium will utilise Astral Aviation’s comprehensive network, technologies, and market expertise, to support its global objective of facilitating vaccine availability with a specific emphasis on the African continent. The alliance will ensure timely delivery of vaccines and critical supplies to all 54 African nations.
Astral Aviation operates a diverse fleet of 14 freighter aircraft and provides innovative, flexible, and cost-effective UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) integrated drone-based solutions, as well as warehousing solutions to both in-store and remote locations.
Robert Sutton, Head of Logistics Cluster, Abu Dhabi Ports said, “Africa has always been a high priority market for the HOPE Consortium and to that end, we are pleased to join hands with Astral Aviation. With a track record of operating over 20 years within Africa, their expertise provides a new dimension towards achieving our overarching objectives.
This partnership reinforces the HOPE Consortium’s aim of creating a sustainable ecosystem, based on our collective global networks, logistics and supply chain capabilities, in order to facilitate vaccine distribution across the world. Our partnership with Astral Aviation is another benchmark towards our commitment to serve every country, region, and locale. We are confident that this partnership will help enhance HOPE Consortium’s efforts in Africa and ensure that no one is left behind in the quest against the pandemic.”
This synergetic collaboration with the HOPE Consortium will see Astral Aviation provide capacity for vaccine deliveries on its scheduled and charter freighter network, in addition to world-class drone solutions and systems to Africa, with the purpose of facilitating immunization programmes.
Through this partnership, the HOPE Consortium furthers its end-to-end supply chains required to distribute vaccines from their base in Abu Dhabi to all African countries. The HOPE Consortium has geared its operations to transport millions of critical Covid-19 vaccines to any country in need and this far has handled over 100 million vaccine doses across 40 countries.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a