EgyptAir Cargo to add pharma product

17 / 05 / 2017

  • Basem Fouad Gohar (L), chairman EgyptAir Cargo and Dominic Hyde, managing director va-Q-tec (R)

EgyptAir Cargo has revealed it will launch a pharma product this summer after signing a deal for passive containers with va-Q-tec.

The airline said that va-Q-tec's passive container rental service will enable deviation-free transportation of temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals around the world to over 70 EgyptAir Cargo destinations.

The two companies finalised the deal at last week's Air Cargo Europe event in Munich.

"The cooperation with va-Q-tec will be a good opportunity and new challenge for Egyptair Cargo to now also transport sensitive pharma shipments to customers who will be served through the Egyptair cargo hub at Cairo,” said Basem Gohar, chairman Egyptair Cargo.

The containers to be deployed by va-Q-tec, provide temperature controlled solutions for six temperature ranges from -70°C to +25°C in five sizes, taking up to two US pallets inside.They offer constant temperature control for several days without using external energy sources.

The new pharma offering from EgyptAir comes in addition to its services covering perishables, live animals, dangerous goods and general cargo.

The North African airline is a spate of companies that have launched a pharma product as they look to capitalise on a fast growing and higher margin industry.

One of the reasons airlines are able to achieve a higher margin for pharma shipments is the level of investment and expertise required to ensure that potentially life saving medicines are transported at a temperature that does not damage the goods.

Regulations around the transport and storage of pharma products are also becoming stricter and logistics companies are having to make investments in facilities and staff training in order to stay up to date.

More regulations are expected soon, with the US working on its version of the European Union's Good Distribution Practice standard.

However, there are challenges ahead, such as ocean grabbing market share and demand for end-to-end supply chain visibility, that air cargo must face if the industry is to fully capitalise on the opportunities presented by the growth in pharma.