United Airlines Holdings Inc. on Friday began operating charter flights to position doses of Pfizer Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine for quick distribution if the shots are approved by regulators, according to people familiar with the matter.
The initial flights are one link in a global supply chain being assembled to tackle the logistical challenge of distributing Covid-19 vaccines. Pfizer has been laying the groundwork to move quickly if it gets approval from the Food and Drug Administration and other regulators world-wide.
Pfizer’s distribution plan also includes refrigerated storage sites at the drugmaker’s final-assembly centers in Kalamazoo, Mich., and Puurs, Belgium, and expanding storage capacity at distribution sites in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., and in Karlsruhe, Germany, in addition to dozens of cargo flights and hundreds of truck trips each day.
Pfizer declined to comment on United’s role in the plan.
United plans to fly chartered cargo flights between Brussels International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport to support distribution of the vaccine, according to a Nov. 24 letter from the Federal Aviation Administration viewed by The Wall Street Journal.