Emirates SkyPharma, Emirates SkyCargo’s new purpose-built facility dedicated exclusively to the timely and secure transport of temperature sensitive pharmaceutical shipments at Dubai International Airport (DXB) was officially inaugurated today by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group.
His Excellency Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health, United Arab Emirates and His Excellency Humaid Mohammed Obaid Al Qatami, Chairman of the Board and Director-General of Dubai Health Authority (DHA) were also present at the inaugural.
“Pharmaceuticals are one of the most important products we transport because of the impact on people’s lives and communities across the world,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo.
“As a leader in the global air cargo industry we decided that it was not only important for us to build state-of- the-art cool chain facilities for the transport of pharma products but to also go the extra mile and ensure the compliance of our operations against the highest international standards. Our customers can continue to rest easy knowing that shipping their high-value and temperature-sensitive goods with Emirates SkyCargo is a safe and efficient choice for their business and end customers.”
The new purpose built Emirates SkyPharma facility, part of the new 11,000 square metre extension of Emirates SkyCentral terminal at Dubai International Airport, offers 4,000 square metres of space dedicated to pharmaceutical cargo. It also features temperature controlled zones (2-8 degree Celsius and 15-25 degree Celsius), 88 temperature controlled individual positions in the automated ULD (aircraft pallet) handling system and 5 temperature controlled acceptance and delivery truck docks.
Emirates SkyCargo has also been awarded the certification of compliance under the EU Good Distribution Practice guidelines (GDP) for medicinal products for human use by Bureau Veritas following an audit conducted by the certification agency’s team from Germany. The certification validates the carrier’s adherence to the strict guidelines on the transport and handling of pharmaceutical products and covers all Emirates SkyCargo handling activities for pharmaceutical products at its hub in Dubai.
Emirates SkyCargo is the first cargo airline in the world that has obtained GDP certification for its hub operations covering two airports and the 24/7 bonded trucking service that connects cargo between them. The carrier also operates the largest GDP certified area in the world offering a total area of 8,600 square metres of combined handling space dedicated for pharmaceutical products at Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central.
The Good Distribution Practice guidelines outlined by the European Commission have been designed to ensure that the quality and integrity of pharmaceutical products are maintained during transportation. As part of its audit process, Bureau Veritas, well known around the world for their high standards, subject knowledge and experience, scrutinised all aspects of the handling and storage of pharmaceutical shipments through Emirates SkyCargo’s dual hubs in Dubai to ensure compliance with GDP guidelines on a number of subjects including quality management, product integrity, security and training of staff handling pharmaceutical products.
“Throughout the audit process we found strong evidence of Emirates SkyCargo’s commitment across all levels to delivering high quality and secure transportation for pharmaceutical products. We are pleased to certify Emirates SkyCargo’s facilities at Dubai International airport, at Dubai World Central and the bonded road service between its hubs as GDP compliant” said Mr Ahmad Chaouk, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Middle East, India, Caspian Sea & Africa Operating Group, Bureau Veritas.
The new Emirates SkyPharma facility at Dubai International airport works in conjunction with Emirates SkyCentral DWC, the carrier’s freighter hub in Dubai World Central which offers 4,600 square metres of dedicated area for pharmaceutical cargo. Both facilities complement the range of innovative cool chain products and solutions offered by Emirates SkyCargo including the Cool Dolly, the White Container and White Cover Advanced, all of which are designed to prevent temperature fluctuations or spikes from occurring during any part of the transportation process.
Emirates SkyCargo’s pharma handling capabilities at its dual hubs further consolidate Dubai’s position as a leading destination for healthcare and pharma logistics.
In 2015 Emirates SkyCargo shipped close to 11,000 tonnes of pharmaceutical products across its global network through its hub in Dubai. The top pharmaceutical products shipped include critical medication for diabetes and cancer, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), blood derivatives and vaccines.