News & Analysis

Hong Kong ties with Brussels for pharma corridor

Initiative adds certification and quality assurance for shipments

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and Brussels Airport have launched an airport-to-airport (A2A) ‘corridor’ for specialist pharmaceutical shipments. The initiative is in association with Pharma.Aero, a collaboration of air transport and pharma industry stakeholders.

The dedicated pharma lane guarantees CEIV-certified handling at every stage of the journey for pharmaceutical shipments between the two airports. It will use CEIV-certified airlines including Cathay Pacific Cargo, and CEIV-certified facilities such as the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal.

According to the Airport Authority Hong Kong, shippers will be guaranteed seamless temperature-controlled handling and provided with handling information, assuring the integrity of the shipments.

Alaina Shum, General Manager, Aviation Logistics for the Airport Authority Hong Kong, said: ‘We are pleased to collaborate with Brussels Airport to establish this A2A pharma corridor. It marks another milestone in our continuous endeavours to make HKIA a preferred pharmaceutical transhipment hub and to strengthen our status as the world’s busiest cargo airport.’

Cathay Pacific’s GM Cargo Service Delivery, Frosti Lau, added: ‘Last year, Cathay Pacific Cargo achieved CEIV certification and we have also started our passenger service to Brussels. We are proud to deliver operational excellence for pharma shipments and to strengthen Hong Kong’s reputation as a global hub and a centre of specialist, high-value cargo expertise.’

The Brussels to Hong Kong corridor is a strong performer for Cathay Pacific

Regional Head of Cargo Europe Jansen Stafford welcomed the initiative. ‘Brussels is a rapidly growing market for pharma,’ he said. ‘The overall pharma market in Brussels grew significantly in 2018 and there are strong lanes to the Asia Pacific region, particularly Sydney.

‘We hope that this A2A corridor will attract more of this growing business to transit through Hong Kong, based on the fact that shippers will have the assurance of high-quality handling there and on board Cathay Pacific flights.’

As part of the initiative, Hong Kong International Airport will be investing in more thermal dollies and building apron shelters to better protect shipments.