Singapore Airlines (SIA) yesterday launched a new service, Thrucool, for transporting valuable pharmaceutical cargo quickly and under strict temperature control.
In a statement, SIA said Thrucool offers dedicated cold chain services to safeguard the integrity of pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments during air transportation.
Such services include priority uplift and handling, quick ramp transfers at airports, cold room facilities, and thermal blankets and covers that provide insulation from external factors, the statement added.
Customers can choose to place their shipments in temperature-controlled containers and track their location during shipping.
In addition, SIA has partnered with terminal operators Sats, Cargologic and Qantas Freight to launch what it calls a quality corridor along the Zurich-Singapore-Sydney route as an initial offering.
The quality corridor will further help to preserve product integrity in cold chain handling on the ground and in the air, the statement added.
It complies with the standards of the International Air Transport Association's Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (Iata CEIV Pharma), whose programme looks at the industry's need for safety, care and efficiency in the transportation of pharmaceutical and healthcare products.
SIA senior vice-president of cargo Chin Yau Seng said the airline is the first in the Asia-Pacific region to be awarded the Iata CEIV Pharma certification.
"We are acutely aware of the life-saving role these shipments play in societies across the world and Thrucool is our assurance that our customers' cargo will receive the best care not only on our flights, but also on the ground during transit," he said.
He added that SIA will continue to work with industry partners to expand its network of quality corridors.
SIA is part of international and regional CEIV communities, such as Pharma@Changi and Pharma.Aero, which jointly pursue innovation in the shipping of pharmaceuticals.
The Iata CEIV Pharma certification has extensive standards that follow guidelines under the European Union's Good Distribution Practice, as well as the World Health Organisation's Good Distribution Practices for Pharmaceutical Products.
Air cargo services are available to more than 130 destinations with SIA's passenger fleet of more than 190 aircraft and seven freighter planes.