In 2020, United became the first commercial airline to safely deliver Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine into the U.S., thanks to a coordinated effort between our cargo, safety, flight and technical operations, regulatory, and legal teams.
Now, as the shipping and logistics industry focuses on widely distributing the COVID-19 vaccines, we’re leveraging all of our flights, including cargo-only flights as well as those carrying passengers, to transport millions of doses of vaccines to destinations throughout our network, including Honolulu, Guam, and Saipan—making us the first airline to do so.
“United’s cargo service has helped safely deliver many essential goods during this pandemic, but there is no shipment that gives me more personal pride than helping bring this life-saving vaccine to our communities,” says Jan Krems, United Cargo President. “While we still face a long road ahead, the promise of a widely distributed vaccine gives us hope that we are one step closer to putting this pandemic behind us and moving forward together toward a brighter future.”
We’re shipping more than just vaccines to help during the pandemic. Since March 2020, we’ve operated more than 9,500 cargo-only flights, carrying more than 475 million pounds of cargo. By using a combination of cargo-only flights and passenger flights, United Cargo transported more than 87 million pounds of medical supplies in 2020.
Alongside our shipping and logistics partners, we will continue to transport COVID-19 treatments to destinations throughout our network. The real heroes are the scientists who created these life-saving vaccines and the frontline workers who are not only administering them but also helping care for those suffering from this virus. We’re proud to do our part in helping to get this precious cargo to the people and communities who need it, and we look forward to doing so in the months ahead.