Qatar Airways Cargo successfully chartered 100 tonnes of pre-exposure HIV medications for a unique Brazilian health programme, from Mumbai (BOM) to Brasilia (BMB) for its customer Hermes Travel and Cargo.
This is one of the largest charter of medicines on a single flight among the several pharma charters performed by the cargo carrier and comes as the carrier is experiencing rapid growth in demand for pharma transport globally, with a 44 per cent increase in tonnage in 2017-18 compared to 2016-17.
The pallets were loaded on a B777 freighter at Mumbai (BOM), which is part of the carrier’s pharma network. Through integrated planning and excellent coordination between all stakeholders involved, the life-saving Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) medications were dispatched to support Brazil’s Ministry of Health’s innovative response to the HIV epidemic.
The government of Brazil initiated the implementation of PrEP to prevent new cases of HIV among key higher-risk population groups through 35 sites across the country. The Brazilian programme aims to offer PrEP to 54,000 people within the next five years.
Guillaume Halleux, chief officer cargo, said: “Aviation and air cargo plays an important role in saving lives and we are humbled to support this innovative programme. Since the launch of our QR Pharma product, we have been working closely with our customers to enhance the product for the benefit of the final consumer. Our dedicated teams ensure the cool chain is unbroken to preserve the efficacy of all medicines flown on Qatar Airways Cargo.”
Rohan M. Thakkar, joint managing director at Hermes Travel & Cargo Private Limited, said: “We would like to express our sincere appreciation for the exceptional charter service that was rendered by Qatar Airways Cargo for our esteemed client M/s Cipla.
“The Boeing 777 charter freighter that was deployed on the Mumbai-Brasilia route to move such a huge volume of pharmaceuticals saw seamless, timely and very well co-ordinated deliverables from Qatar Airways Cargo, which paves the way for a growing cooperation with the carrier in the near future. This seamless delivery is acknowledged by the Ministry of Brazil as well.”
QR Pharma, the cargo airline’s specialist product developed for pharmaceuticals and healthcare products, offers active solutions to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the transportation chain, as well as passive solutions, which keep the pharmaceuticals within a defined temperature band during all stages of the journey.
The cargo carrier offers air freight solutions for all kinds of pharmaceuticals and healthcare products on its scheduled passenger and freighter services to a network of more than 150 destinations. In addition, the cargo carrier also offers its customers bespoke charter solutions to destinations which are not part of the carrier’s scheduled network.
Qatar Airways Cargo has invested considerably in quality handling, infrastructure, facilities, people and procedures at each of its pharma stations, as well as implementing a complete quality audit and stringent training modules, ensuring the high operating standards are met for pharmaceuticals and healthcare products.
The Climate Control Centre situated airside is equipped with segregated temperature-controlled sections for storing pharmaceuticals transiting the hub. It has two zones operating for 2° to 8°C or 15° to 25°C, with a capacity to hold a total of 156 unit loading devices (ULDs) at a time, in addition to the 64 temperature-controlled cells at the cargo terminal’s cold room.
The cargo carrier utilises refrigerated vehicles at its hub for all temperature-sensitive cargo, ensuring perfect temperature control. Customers are offered a wide range of active pharma containers such as Envirotainer, CSafe, DoKaSch and va-Q-tec to transport their pharmaceuticals across the cargo carrier’s extensive global network.
The significant investments in the cool chain and expansion of its pharma network is part of the cargo carrier’s strategy and commitment to improve and enhance its product offering for the benefit of the pharmaceutical industry globally.