Cathay attains IATA CEIV pharma recertification, expands cold storage in time for vaccine roll-out


Cathay Pacific Cargo’s community at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is now re-certified under IATA’s CEIV Pharma accreditation.

Cathay Pacific Services Limited (CPSL) which operates the carrier’s cargo terminal and ground-handling subsidiary Hong Kong Airport Services (HAS) have all been recertified with IATA CEIV pharma, as integrators and airlines start to transport the initial doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

The cargo airline said the recertification reaffirms HKIA’s overall expertise in pharmaceutical shipment handling and comes at a time when air cargo is in the spotlight ahead of the huge global challenge to distribute COVID-19 vaccines.

Frosti Lau, Cathay Pacific’s GM for cargo service delivery said, “Cathay Pacific has been working closely with Airport Authority and CPSL to enhance its cargo handling capability at Hong Kong airport. This work included adding thermal dollies as well as expanding the storage capability inside the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal. This shows our commitment to delivering a high-quality pharma transportation service from an airport-to-airport perspective, as well as our own drive for continuous improvement.”

“These improvements come at an opportune time for us to be able to take better care of the time- and temperature-sensitive vaccine shipments that will be passing through Hong Kong to our network of destinations,” Lau said.

Cathay Pacific is expanding cold storage facilities at its cargo terminal to allow it to temporarily hold more than 8.6 million vaccine doses a day. The new cold storage room will allow for a further 1.5 million doses to its current capacity of about 7.1 million doses.

The cargo carrier has rolled-out in a new generation track-and-trace system ‘Ultra Track’ to allow freight forwarders to monitor the condition of vaccine shipments in real-time. The technology solution uses a low-energy Bluetooth transmitter that can record and transmit GPS positions, temperature, vibration and humidity in real-time.

“We will be offering the service free of charge for any COVID-19 vaccine shipments from all of the vaccine manufacturing centres,” Cathay Pacific’s recently appointed Director for cargo Tom Owen said.

“We are the third-largest freight carrier in the world, and with our 20 dedicated freighters and cargo bellies of passenger aircraft supporting our extensive freighter network, we stand ready to assist with what will be the biggest humanitarian response to a situation involving civil aviation that anyone has ever seen,” Owen said.


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