Qatar Airways Cargo launches additional Pharma Express flights Basel and Brussels

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Qatar Airways Cargo has announced the launch of additional Pharma Express flights from the pharmaceutical hubs of Basel and Brussels to Doha, providing a unique and dedicated air service to the growing pharmaceutical industry. Basel and Brussels are both home to the headquarters of major pharmaceutical companies, while the Swiss chemical exports are largely shipped out of Basel.

Qatar Airways Cargo has added an additional weekly frequency, operating on Fridays, from Basel to Doha and will launch two additional Airbus A330 freighter services from Brussels to Doha on Wednesdays and Saturdays commencing 15 February. These newly added frequencies take the cargo carrier’s total Pharma Express flights to nine per week.


Qatar Airways Chief Officer Cargo, Mr. Ulrich Ogiermann said: “Air cargo standards for handling time-and-temperature-sensitive commodities such as pharmaceuticals are becoming more stringent, especially with the stricter guidelines on temperature control requirements. At Qatar Airways Cargo, we understand the intricacies involved in safeguarding the integrity of temperature-sensitive commodities during shipment. Therefore, we are committed to offering our customers seamless cool chain air logistics as well as uncompromised service standards compliant with Good Distribution Practice (GDP) requirements. Our Pharma Express flights are launched to cater to the rapidly expanding pharmaceutical industry. We are extremely proud to be the only international air cargo carrier to offer dedicated Pharma Express flights to the world’s major pharmaceutical and healthcare industry hubs.”

Pharma Express flights were launched by Qatar Airways Cargo in 2015 and currently operate from pharmaceutical hubs such as Brussels, Basel, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad, transporting more than 30,000 tons of pharmaceuticals each year. These routes are served by the Airbus A330 freighter aircraft, offering 65 to 68 tons of capacity each way.

QR Pharma is the cargo airline’s specialist product developed for pharmaceuticals and healthcare products. It offers both active solutions to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the transportation chain, as well as passive solutions, which keep the pharmaceuticals within a defined temperature band at all stages of the journey. As an industry leader, the cargo carrier ensures the fastest transfer at Doha through its unique Quick Ramp Transfer (QRT). It is the only cargo carrier in the Middle East to offer refrigerated or ‘reefer’ truck services for ramp transfers at its home hub. Temperature-sensitive commodities are delivered to and from the aircraft by reefer trucks to ensure the cool chain process is seamless, thereby completely eliminating temperature exposure. The cargo carrier’s QR Pharma network currently covers 71 destinations worldwide with Ho Chi Minh City and São Paulo added recently.