The Vienna Airport Pharma Handling Centre (VPHC) increased its total tonnage by 64 percent in 2022 compared to the previous year. With the handling of more than 3,600 tons of pharmaceuticals, biotech products and other temperature-sensitive goods, an increase of over 1,400 tons was recorded. With the handling of another record tonnage, the highly modern and specialised facility further strengthens Vienna Airport as a relevant pharmaceutical hub for Central and Eastern Europe.
In particular since the Corona crisis, the VPHC is covering a strong increase in demand for the handling of temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals. Compared to the pre-crisis year 2019, Vienna Airport has grown its pharmaceutical tonnages by around 173 percent in 2022. In addition to the ongoing uncertainties in international sea traffic, the ongoing internationalisation of the pharmaceutical and biotech industries is also driving the need to safely transport these time-sensitive and fragile goods by aircraft.
The GDP-certified VPHC is well prepared for a continuation of the trend towards increasing pharmaceutical transports. State-of-the-art equipment, strictly optimised processes and a special pharma team guarantee strict adherence to exact temperature specifications for both handling and storage. Two large-scale cold storage facilities offer warehousing options for temperatures ranging from 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (150 square metres) and 15 to 25 degrees (1,600 square metres). Here, movable refrigeration equipment guarantees a secure connection between the air and land sides. In combination with sensitive sensor technology, a comprehensive temperature detection system provides seamless monitoring and documentation of the whole supply chain. The closely timed road feeder network and Vienna’s central location enable fast onward distribution via Europe’s dense road network. Within 36 hours, 23 countries can be reached by road.
As host of this year’s “FlyPharma Europe” conference, Vienna Airport emphasises its standing as a global pharmaceutical hub. From 9 to 11 October 2023, the event will bring together many international pharmaceutical companies, freight forwarders and airlines at Vienna Airport. Central actors for supply and value chains in the field of medicines and air freight will exchange information, experiences and opinions on technologies, regulations, cooperation, and trends.
“The repeated record tonnage of the Vienna Airport Pharma Handling Center shows that Vienna Airport is an indispensable and leading pharmaceutical hub for Central and Eastern Europe. At the same time, this underlines the high quality of handling at the VPHC. Here we provide the increasingly internationally active pharma sector with important and, above all, safe access to the often life-saving cold chains. Thanks to highly modern equipment, GDP certification and optimised processes, the VPHC enables reliable and speedy handling and is also well equipped for the increasing demand in the future,” says Michael Zach, Vice President Sales, Finance & Cargo, Ground Handling & Cargo Operations at Vienna International Airport.
With its geographically well-situated location in Europe, Vienna Airport has established itself as an important global cargo hub for Central and Eastern Europe. Especially for intercontinental transports, Vienna Airport is serving leading cargo airlines. A 24-hour operational readiness offers fast turnaround times. For air cargo, 10 category F aircraft parking positions (Boeing 747-8, Antonov 124) are available in the close vicinity of the handling facilities. The airport is strongly established in the European network of Road Feeder Services. The most important consumer and economic centers in Central and Eastern Europe are reached within 24 or 48 hours. Flughafen Wien AG, the Vienna stock exchange listed operating company, is one of the largest employers in its region with more than 5,400 employees.