Five years and over 400 million kilogrammes: Emirates SkyCargo’s momentous pharma journey
DUBAI, 26th September, 2021 – Emirates SkyCargo, the global leader in the air transport of temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals, is marking an important operational milestone.
Five years ago, in September 2016, Emirates SkyCargo set new standards in the air cargo industry for the safe and efficient transport of pharmaceuticals by launching its dedicated GDP certified pharmaceuticals handling facility at Dubai International Airport and, at the same time, unveiling its three-tiered specialised product – Emirates Pharma.
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.
After extensive planning and significant investment in our infrastructure, processes and people, we introduced our 360 degree transportation solution, backed by state of the art GDP certified Dubai handling facility for our pharmaceutical customers in September 2016.
The response from the market was overwhelmingly positive and we managed to very quickly transform the perception that Dubai was a destination to be avoided for pharmaceutical cargo in the summer, to that of Dubai being a reliable hub for pharma customers all year round.
“Our pharma volumes have continued to grow over the years and, to date, we have transported more than 400 million kilogrammes of pharma cargo under our Emirates Pharma umbrella.
Emirates SkyCargo has over 20,000 sq metres of GDP compliant storage and handling space at its hub in Dubai, processing close to 200,000 kilogrammes of pharmaceuticals every day, comprising vaccines, biologics, medicines for illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and a range of other medical treatments.
Emirates SkyCargo’s pharmaceutical operations in Dubai have undergone rigorous evaluation for compliance with GDP guidelines by Bureau Veritas, Germany, including two full certification cycles involving multiple certification and surveillance audits.
Emirates SkyCargo’s pharma operations have also successfully undergone multiple audits conducted by customers and pharmaceutical manufacturers.
As part of the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance, Emirates SkyCargo joined with DP World, International Humanitarian City and Dubai Airports to combine expertise and strengths to expedite the movement of vaccines to developing nations through Dubai.
The carrier also entered into an MoU with UNICEF to facilitate the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in support of the COVAX facility for equitable distribution of vaccines.
In May 2021, Emirates SkyCargo set up the Emirates India Humanitarian Airbridge and donated cargo capacity to transport essential supplies, including oxygen cylinders, concentrators and relief tents, free of charge on flights from Dubai to Indian destinations to help the Indian community battle the COVID-19 pandemic.