Ethiopian Airlines, the largest aviation group in Africa, has recently announced that it has received IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) certification as an airline and ground handling in December 2021.
Incidentally, the 75-year-old Ethiopian Airlines is the first airline in Africa to receive the CEIV pharma certification. This development is slated to further improve the airline’s goal in providing efficient and effective transportation of pharmaceuticals throughout its pharma network which spans Brussels, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Paris, Seoul, Lagos, Lusaka, Beijing, Hong Kong, Maastricht, Chicago and Addis Ababa.
Following the certification, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said, “We are delighted to receive this important global certification, IATA CEIV Pharma Certificate, which is a strong assurance of one of the highest global standards in the aviation and logistics industries. 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 seafood, dangerous goods etc. Accordingly, we have been working very hard on our pharma and life sciences handling facility to meet the global standards in technology, processes and training.”
He further added, “The IATA CEIV Pharma Certification has come at an opportune time for Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics team as they continue to play a 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.”
Ethiopian, in recent years, has invested heavily in infrastructure, equipment, people, system and processes to enhance its pharmaceutical core handling capabilities throughout its pharma network. Cold storage areas in these freight facilities are dedicated for the handling of pharmaceuticals and healthcare products and armed with a dedicated climate control ranging between -30OC to +25OC.
These facilities are monitored through a smart web-based system that allow real-time management of all zones with a capability to trigger SMS, phone calls and emails in case of an emergency, cited the official release from the airlines. In addition, Ethiopian has also deployed smart cool dollies to ensure the smooth transportation of temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical products from the warehouse to the aircraft and vice versa with a capability to maintain an internal temperature between -29OC to +27OC.