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Virgin Atlantic Cargo, Delta Cargo launch new pharma zone in London

Incorporated into the new Pharma facility are two walk-in pods capable of maintaining 2-8°C (COL) and 15-25°C (CRT) temperature ranges for loose pharma shipments. 


A new joint venture pharma zone in London is the first of many, according to partners Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo.

The two air carriers opened a facility for handling and storing pharmaceutical shipments at London Heathrow Airport, with plans for facilities in New York and Los Angeles next.

Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo have launched a new Pharma Zone at their joint facility at London Heathrow Airport, the air carriers said in a joint statement.

The Pharma Zone is a fully segregated area dedicated to handling and storing pharmaceutical shipments within a regulated temperature environment and active container storage. The facility also features a cargo door dedicated to pharma shipments to speed their flow through the warehouse and reduce the time products spend outside of a temperature controlled environment, as well as 10 charging points for Active cargo containers.

“The opening of the Pharma Zone is the latest enhancement to the pharma products of both airlines,” said Darren Sherlock, manager of products and partnerships at Virgin Atlantic Cargo.

“This has also recently seen Delta Cargo become the first U.S. global passenger carrier to gain IATA’s CEIV Pharma Logistics certification corporately and at its Atlanta operational hub, while Virgin Atlantic Cargo is on track to achieve Wholesale Distribution Authorization (WDA) certification in the UK by the end of the year to confirm our GDP compliance.

“This reflects our joint commitment to delivering the correct level of service required for temperature-controlled pharma products at both origin and destination points across our networks.”

Virgin Atlantic Cargo saw pharma tonnage increase 20 percent in the first half of 2017, according to Dominic Kennedy, managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo.

“We expect this to increase as we continue to invest in, and develop, facilities like our new Pharma Zone as well as GDP processes and training across our network.

“In terms of our Pharma and Life Sciences offering, we believe our size, alongside direct Virgin oversight at every single station, gives us a real advantage in terms of the agility and flexibility we can offer and our growing volumes indicate our customers share this view,” said Kennedy.

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Delta Cargo aims to add its other key hubs into the pharma network, with New York-JFK and Los Angeles at the top of the list, said Shawn Cole, vice president of Delta Cargo.

“This network, combined with the promise of speed, consistency and efficiency in delivering high-value, time-sensitive, temperature-controlled products right across the network really is a first for the Delta Cargo and Virgin Atlantic Cargo joint venture,” said Cole.

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