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   Vol. 17 No. 48
Friday August 6, 2018

Where Pharma Keeps Its Cool
Dominic Kennedy 
    Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s commitment to pharma customers seems to be paying off handsomely with the airline reporting bookings and revenues for temperature-controlled healthcare and life science shipments up by more than 50% in the first half of 2018.
     “The standards and requirements for everyone involved in the transportation of pharmaceuticals and life science products set out clear guidelines of what is expected of airlines serving customers in this growing market,” Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s Managing Director Dominic Kennedy said earlier this year as Virgin achieved wholesale distribution authorization (WDA) for its global headquarters operations and especially its Pharma Zone, developed with partner Delta Cargo at Heathrow Airport.

Virgin & Good Distribution Practices

     WDA confirms Virgin’s compliance with good distribution practice (GDP) and its ability to maintain the quality and integrity of medicinal products for human use.
     Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s WDA accreditation - established by the UK Government’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - follows the WDA approval of its handling partner dnata for its Cargo Point operation at the airport, which incorporates the Pharma Zone within the ‘one roof’ cargo centre at Heathrow for Virgin and its JV partner, Delta.

The Ability To Listen

     “We have been listening to our customers and responding to what they want,” Mr. Kennedy said.
     “We have been carrying pharma shipments for many years but it was clear customers wanted to give us a bigger share of this business. WDA was the regulatory compliance our customers and service partners asked us to achieve and now we meet their requirements at both our global headquarters and Pharma Zone, we have seen a very positive response.”

Customers Tell Us . . .

     “We can measure our customers’ approval by the increasing pharma bookings they are giving us.
     “We are confident 2018 will be a record year for our pharma and life science business,” Dominic Kennedy said.
     This confidence is no doubt boosted by the fact that Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta offer around one-third of all transAtlantic cargo capacity between the U.S. and UK, offering an extensive choice of routes and frequencies on what is one of the world’s busiest pharma trade lanes. With Delta Cargo also growing its IATA CEIV Pharma certifications, this is also increasing the number of compliant end-to-end routings the airlines can offer.

Too Cool Cans

CSafe      Also in early 2018, Virgin Atlantic Cargo approved the CSafe RAP container for higher volumes of pharma and life science shipments across its international network, becoming the first UK airline to have done so. This extended the choice of units the airline offers for temperature-controlled pharma products, which already included the CSafe RKN container as well as Envirotainer's RKN t2, RAP t2, RKN e1 and RAP e2 units.
     The CSafe RAP container has been given the green light by both the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The unit uses CSafe’s active Temperature Management System (TMS), which utilizes compressor-driven cooling technology and a radiant heating system (depending on the ambient temperature), in conjunction with the company’s ThermoCor vacuum insulation panel technology, to maintain strict payload temperature settings throughout transportation.
     The CSafe RAP has a temperature range that is user selectable from +4°C to +25°C.
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