China Airlines is ranked among the top six cargo airlines in the world and is also the only airline in Taiwan to have obtained international pharmaceutical cold chain logistics certification. A new ultra-low temperature delivery service has now been launched by China Airlines to take advantage of opportunities arising from COVID-19 vaccine delivery. Deliveries for cargo chilled to as low as -80°C can now be undertaken once dry ice is added.
China Airlines has been actively expanding into the modern pharmaceutical cold chain logistics market since 2013 and applied for certification by the IATA Center of Excellence for Independent Validations in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma). In April 2019, China Airlines became the first and only airline in Taiwan to pass the rigorous certification process.
Risk assessment and management during transportation is emphasized by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Comprehensive measures were put in place by China Airlines for analysis of station capability before shipping and personnel training. The airline also has extensive experience in cold chain logistics and their management. In addition to full-time monitoring during transportation and warehouse priority, owners can also monitor the temperature and battery level of temperature-controlled containers online. The high standard of service and attention to detail during transportation played a critical part in obtaining CEIV certification.
China Airlines has extensive experience and internationally-recognized qualifications for cold chain air cargo services. Low-temperature cargo are held in containers with active temperature control to shield them from changes in ambient temperature even if moving between the northern and southern hemispheres with their very different seasons. All goods that must be kept between +25°C and -20°C including flu vaccines, anti-cancer drugs, insulin and rapid test agents can all be transported in a secure and stable manner.
An agreement has also been signed between China Airlines and international passive temperature-controlled container suppliers to expand the service portfolio to include ultra-low temperature delivery. Temperature-controlled containers are used to maintain the quality of goods during transportation. Unlike conventional cold chain logistics in which temperature-controlled containers utilize battery-powered active-cooling, passive ultra-low temperature containers require no batteries. A combination of patented vacuum insulated panels and phase change materials effectively maintain the specified temperature for up to 5 days. A storage temperature as low as -80°C can even be achieved with the addition of dry ice. This provides certain vaccines with the stable and safe temperature they need to maintain their efficacy, quality during transport, and cost-effective delivery.
There has been an increase in global cargo demand from the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines. As one of the leading cargo carriers in the world, China Airlines has made all the necessary preparations and has received a number of inquiries on transportation plans for different types of vaccines. China Airlines’ CEIV Pharma certification, many years of experience in professional transportation, and extensive network covering major European and American cities such as Frankfurt, London , New York and Chicago, mean that it stands ready to meet the demand for vaccine transportation. Talks are underway with partner airlines on opportunities offered by the transshipment of vaccines by other countries.