Ethiopian Airlines Receives IATA Pharmaceutical Certification

Ethiopian Airlines today proudly announced that it has received Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) certification in regard to its airline and ground handling operations. The company is the first African operator to achieve this feat.

More than ever, the world is relying on the efficient transportation of pharmaceuticals. Photo: Ethiopian Airlines

The right balance

IATA formed CEIV Pharma to assist institutions and the broader air cargo supply chain to handle pharmaceuticals with best practices. The organization highlights that by creating a common ground based on existing regulations and standards, the certification makes sure that global and regional compliances are followed. Ultimately, IATA is keen to set new standards in this department.

Ethiopian Airlines and its hub at Addis Ababa play an important role in the transportation of vital medical products. This factor has been noted amid the global health crisis, which has seen the carrier connect vaccines and other supplies to communities across Africa.

The flag carrier of Ethiopia expresses that its base location makes it a preferred site for the carrying of highly temperature-sensitive products with its climate that ranges between +15°C and +25°C. This aspect is crucial in minimizing prospective temperature change through the value chain.

A proud achievement

Along with the ground factors, Ethiopian Airlines has also introduced “smart cool dollies” to provide smooth carrying of temperature-sensitive goods between the warehouse and the plane with the ability to uphold an internal temperature between -29°C and +27°C.

“With an annual capacity of more than a million tons, our global air cargo and logistics hub in Addis Ababa has various special cargo handling facilities like Pharma and Life Science, Live Animals, Perishable cargo, live sea food, dangerous goods etc. Accordingly, we have been working very hard on our Pharma and Life Science handling facility to meet global standards in technology, processes and trainings,” Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam shared in a company statement.

“The IATA CEIV Pharma Certification has come at an opportune time for Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics team as they continue to play key global role in the transportation of life saving COVID-19 vaccines around the world and particularly in the continent of Africa. The journey to an even greater success in the logistics market has started for Ethiopian Airlines as we are already equipped with a huge capacity in terms of state-of-the-art cold chain facility, equipment, system, process and dedicated pharma handling professionals.”

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Careful planning

Generally, a large share of pharmaceutical shipments needs temperature-controlled transport. In practice, 75% of the shipments require passive cooling solutions, and 2% need active temperature control. These processes demand a yield premium amid complex the complex requirements.

This September, Ethiopian surpassed 50 million vaccine dose deliveries since the start of the global health crisis. To adapt to the conditions, the carrier converted some of its fleet from passenger configurations by removing seats, which offered greater cargo capacity. Overall, the firm’s strong network, performance, and hub position have all combined excellently to help distribute materials during this challenging period across the globe.

As the pandemic continues to take its toll on the industry, operators such as Ethiopian will remain critical in the efforts to fight the virus. This IATA certification will undoubtedly prove valuable in this next stage of aviation.

What are your thoughts about Ethiopian Airlines receiving IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) certification? What do you make of the overall initiative? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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