Virgin Atlantic Cargo gains GDP compliance in the UK

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May 02, 2018: Virgin Atlantic Cargo has received Wholesale Distribution Authorisation accreditation for its global headquarters operations and its new Pharma Zone at Heathrow Airport, confirming the airline’s compliance with Good Distribution Practice (GDP).

WDA was established by the UK Government’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which is recognised as a trusted and independent source of expertise throughout Europe, working closely with the European regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMEA). The MHRA also collaborates with other international regulators, including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This achievement follows its handling partner dnata also gaining WDA for its Cargo Point operation at Heathrow, which incorporates the Pharma Zone, shared by Virgin Atlantic and its joint venture partner, Delta Cargo.

The airline’s pharma and life science shipments that recorded over 20 percent growth last year, is expected to see growth with this accreditation.

Earlier this year, the airline also increased the range of active containers it offers for temperature-controlled cargoes by becoming the first UK airline to approve the use of CSafe’s new RAP unit.

Through its JV with Delta Cargo, Virgin now offers almost a quarter of all transatlantic cargo capacity, the busiest global lane for pharma shipments. Virgin serves a total of 11 US destinations, offering direct services to the UK and fast connections into Europe. Demand is also up for pharma services to India and China.

Dominic Kennedy, MD of Virgin Atlantic Cargo said: “We have been listening to our customers and responding to what they want. Wholesale Distribution Authorisation (WDA) was the regulatory compliance they asked us to achieve and now we meet their requirements at both our global headquarters and Pharma Zone. We can measure our customers’ approval by the increasing pharma bookings they are giving us. We are confident 2018 will be a record year for our pharma and life science business as customers commit to airlines like Virgin which are delivering tangible benefits.”

Virgin’s Pharma Zone is a secure and segregated facility with GDP-trained staff dedicated to the handling and storage of pharma shipments.

The airline’s service offering for temperature-sensitive shipments is also benefiting from the co-location of its handling operations with Delta Cargo at major gateways in the UK and US.

Darren Sherlock, manager - Products and Partnerships at Virgin Atlantic Cargo, added: “This is a further important enhancement of the pharma services we can offer to our customers and has been achieved with the fantastic support of our partners dnata and ASC Associates. We will continue to work closely with our customers to ensure that every benefit we deliver is based on what they need.”

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