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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Cargo has set a notable benchmark in the region by becoming the Middle East’s first carrier to be awarded IATA’s Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certification in Pharmaceutical Logistics. The airline is one of only 16 carriers to hold this important certification worldwide. 

The certifications cover both the airline operations of Etihad Cargo, as well as cargo handling and warehousing at its hub in Abu Dhabi International Airport, underlining Etihad’s excellence in maintaining product integrity and managing high-value, temperature-sensitive shipments for the pharmaceuticals and life sciences industries.

Abdulla Mohamed Shadid, Managing Director Cargo and Logistics at Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Etihad Cargo is honoured to become the region’s first carrier to be awarded IATA’s CEIV designation for Pharma. Since we launched our refreshed strategy in early 2018, a lot of focus has gone towards enhancing our premium product verticals and offering the highest quality and reliability standards to our customers. Today our TempCheck product receives a major boost with this important certification.”

Etihad’s cargo handling subsidiary Etihad Airport Services LLC has also been awarded the CEIV Pharma certification. Combined with Etihad’s global air cargo network spanning the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia, through its modern fleet of passenger aircraft as well as its dedicated fleet of Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, this dual certification reaffirms Etihad’s ability to offer customers a seamless end-to-end temperature-controlled solution and reinforces Abu Dhabi’s positioning as a key global logistics centre.

Etihad has undergone a major enhancement program to its facilities, systems and processes to meet the stringent standards that CEIV Pharma demands, which combines IATA’s Temperature Control Regulations, GDP best practices, and other international benchmarks. These enhancements include the planned use of cool dollies at Abu Dhabi International Airport, thermal blankets both in Abu Dhabi and at key stations globally, and a tie up with additional active container suppliers to expand the options of temperature-controlled containers across its global network, among other initiatives.

To further reinforce its commitment to this segment, Etihad also commenced a major expansion and refurbishment program to its cargo terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport in the fourth quarter of 2018, which aims to add additional temperature-controlled space to its existing pharma zone by 2020, in addition to a dedicated staging facility at its Midfield complex in time for the airline’s move to the new state-of-the-art terminal.

“2018 was a pivotal year in our transformation journey, and the most successful in our history, where we were able to set new performance records across various areas of our operations,” added Shadid. “We redefined our freighter fleet strategy focusing on the Boeing 777 freighter, as well as a new and refreshed freighter network adding key capacity on core trade lanes. We also recently launched two new products, FlightValet and FreshForward, both of which have seen remarkable successes, and in October we completed our digital migration to the leading iCargo technology platform. CEIV Pharma presents us with the perfect start to the year, setting a baseline for what we need to accomplish to reaffirm our place as a true air cargo partner of choice”.

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