Emirates SkyCargo clinches global milestone transporting pharma products

DUBAI – Emirates SkyCargo, the world leader in temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical air transport, has achieved a remarkable operational milestone having moved over 400 million kilos of pharmaceuticals in just five years.

Emirates SkyCargo has raised the bar in the air cargo industry for the safe and efficient transport of pharmaceuticals in September 2016 by launching its dedicated GDP certified pharma handling facility at Dubai International Airport and unveiling its three-tiered specialized product – Emirates Pharma.

Emirates SkyCargo launched the pharma corridors initiative across select destinations on its network in response to the importance of providing enhanced protection to pharmaceuticals on the move.

The initiative ensures that temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals are handled uniformly and safely from origin to destination. Emirates SkyCargo currently has 20 pharma stations scattered throughout its network.

Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional senior vice president, Cargo, said, “At Emirates SkyCargo, we recognised very early on that our customers were looking for increasingly specialised solutions for their cargo and this was true especially for valuable and life-saving medicines that have to be transported under very strict conditions.”

The market response has been overwhelmingly positive, enabling the air-transport logistic firm to transform Dubai into a reliable hub for pharmaceutical customers worldwide throughout the year.

This has aided the operational growth as pharma volumes have steadily increased over the years, and it has now achieved tremendous milestone having transported more than 400 million kilos (400, 000 tonnes) of pharma cargo under the Emirates Pharma banner.

This figure includes more than 250 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Emirates SkyCargo provided continuous connectivity for the transport of urgently needed pharmaceuticals by deploying an increasing number of cargo-only flights on passenger aircraft, a move that made it win the Coveted Hero of the Pandemic – Air Cargo Award.

At its Dubai hub, Emirates SkyCargo has over 20,000 square meters of GDP-compliant storage and handling space. It provides 50 cool-dollies that keep such special cargoes cool between flights and the terminal.

The unique challenges of transporting COVID-19 vaccines around the world could not have created a better opportunity to highlight the unsung and undervalued skills and contributions of various segments of the air cargo industry.

Even at the height of COVID-19 pandemic, the airline flew close to 200,000 kilos (200 tonnes) of pharmaceuticals every day, including vaccines, biologics, medicines for illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and a variety of other medical treatments.

Emirates SkyCargo partnered with DP World, International Humanitarian City, and Dubai Airports to form the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance in January 2020, with the goal of rapidly transporting COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries via Dubai.

This was quickly followed by an agreement with UNICEF in February 2020 to expedite the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines under the COVAX initiative.

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