Emirates SkyCargo forwards about 80,000 pharma shipments per year

The airline transported 36 Envirotainer containers with 1.8 million doses of vaccines in a single flight

Emirates SkyCargo forwards about 80,000 pharma shipments per year

Emirates SkyCargo has transported over 25 tonnes of vaccines from Milan to BH airport, Bello Horizonte in Brazil on its Boeing 777 freighter aircraft. This is the largest shipment of vaccines that the air cargo carrier has transported on a single flight and it is also the first time that BH Airport has received such a large shipment of vaccines. 

Given the extreme sensitivity of the vaccines to temperature fluctuations, the entire shipment, equivalent to about 1.8 million doses, had to be transported in specialised containers to maintain a constant temperature of 5 degrees C. A total of 36 Envirotainer containers – 35 RAP e2 and 1 RKNe1 containers – were loaded on the freighter at Milan, one of the designated airports in Emirates SkyCargo’s pharma corridor programme, which aims to provide supplementary protection for pharma product integrity during air transport. On arrival at BH Airport, the vaccines were removed from the containers and transported to the temperature controlled storage areas of the airport.

“Emirates SkyCargo is a global leader in the air transport of temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals and our commitment to transport lifesaving medications securely is backed by our infrastructure including modern aircraft as well as our GDP compliant processes and our trained staff,” says Hiran Perera, Emirates Senior Vice President, Cargo Planning & Freighters. “We planned every detail of this charter very carefully with our partners from mid-July to ensure that the vaccines would be delivered carefully to Belo Horizonte airport,” he added.

“Negotiations for the arrival of this shipment included the visit of technical professionals who checked the storage conditions of our chambers considered to be the latest generation,” says Peter Robbe, Belo Horizonte Airport Cargo manager. “To take advantage of the potential of the cargo logistics area of the Airport, BH Airport has invested in a new configuration of the Cargo Terminal and has installed two new refrigerated chambers to triple cool chain storage capacity to 3,350 m³,” he commented.

On an average, Emirates SkyCargo transports about 80,000 pharma shipments every year, varying in size from small clinical trial shipments to pharma charters on freighter aircraft, across its network of over 160 destinations. Emirates Pharma is the carrier’s comprehensive range of temperature controlled transport services for temperature sensitive pharmaceutical products. In addition to a modern fleet of widebody aircraft, Emirates SkyCargo has also invested in developing specialised equipment including the Emirates Pharma Cool Dollies and the White Cover thermal blankets, developed in collaboration with DuPont, for the protection of pharmaceutical cargo.

Emirates SkyCargo is the freight division of Emirates and the world’s largest international cargo airline measured by Freight Tonne Kilometres (FTKMs). The air cargo carrier operates a fleet of 270 all widebody aircraft including 14 freighters – 13 Boeing 777F and one B747F.