Etihad achieves pharma growth as it continues vaccine rollout

By Rachelle Harry

Two years after Etihad Cargo achieved IATA Pharma certification, the carrier has experienced growth in the number of shipments transported with its specialised PharmaLife service.

Martin Drew, senior vice president of sales and cargo at Etihad Aviation Group, said the carrier attributes the 50% year-on-year increase to its 54 dedicated pharma stations, as well as its “substantial expertise in the global transportation of temperature-controlled and time-sensitive pharma products, including vaccines, operating to stringent manufacturers’ requirements.”

In addition, the carrier said its involvement with the Abu Dhabi-based Hope Consortium towards the end of last year contributed to its pharma growth — and the trend is expected to continue this year.

Drew added: “Etihad Cargo’s successful role in the Hope Consortium serves as a significant endorsement of our PharmaLife product, which was the first in the region to attain the IATA CEIV Pharma certification for excellence of product transportation in the sector.

“During December, millions of doses of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine were carried on a chartered Etihad Cargo Boeing 777-300ER, with additional shipments scheduled.”

Etihad Cargo, which is a member of IATA’s Time and Temperature Working Group, is also planning to boost its pharma sector credentials through an ongoing education programme, which has already reached a worldwide audience of more than 600 professionals through 30 webinars.

Drew explained: “This programme will continue throughout 2021 as Etihad Cargo simultaneously builds its network of certified pharmaceutical trade lanes that meet consistent standards and assure product integrity.

“Additional enhancements this year include the introduction of thermal blankets, cool dollies and digital e-booking for pharma products, as well as securing cooperation with Pharma.Aero, the powerful cross-industry collaboration for pharma shippers, CEIV certified cargo communities, airport operators and other air cargo industry stakeholders.”

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