Brussels Airport recently became certified as an IATA-supported Centre of Excellence for the handling of pharmaceutical products. The home base of Brussels Airlines, it is the first airport in the world where all the stakeholders have obtained IATA’s CEIV pharma certificate, thereby guaranteeing that Brussels Airlines as well as the handlers and forwarders operating at the airport are compliant with international regulations for the handling of all pharmaceutical products.

With this certification, the pharmaceutical industry will enjoy tangible benefits. "Every pharmaceutical company can rest assured that the various links in the transport flow will all follow the same processes, and that these processes are streamlined to ensure a smooth and fast transfer. Furthermore, the pharmaceutical companies will enjoy a substantial cost reduction as necessary audits will be limited and streamlined", says Herman Hoornaert, head of cargo at Brussels Airlines.

The pharmaceutical industry is booming worldwide, and Belgium is one of the countries where the sector is strongly represented. For Brussels Airlines, this certification is a key asset for the future. "We are best known for our passenger flights, but our cargo service is also important for the company. In total, freight accounts for about 6% of annual sales. On our long haul flights, this can even be worth 17%," explains Hoornaert.

Brussels Airlines’ long haul destinations include 19 African destinations as well as New York and Washington in the US.

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