As the world prepares for a vaccine’s arrival to combat the spread of COVID-19, Miami International Airport (MIA) is preparing to welcome medical cargo muscle from Brussels. DHL subsidiary European Air Transport (EAT) Leipzig, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL Group, has started five weekly flights from Brussels Airport (BRU).
Brussels Airport is Europe’s leading airport when it comes to transporting temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical (pharma) products such as vaccines. European Air Transport (EAT) Leipzig has begun operating five flights a week between the Belgium capital and Miami using an Airbus A330-200F aircraft capable of handling 65 tons of freight per flight.
DHL Express and Amerijet also fly MIA-BRU
EAT Leipzig’s new flights follow on from similar operations started by DHL Express and Miami-based Amerijet. DHL Express started flying between BRU and MIA in March while Amerijet began its operations in April. When combined, the three cargo carriers will provide 13 weekly flights between the two pharmaceutical hubs.
Miami International Airport and Brussels Airport were the first two airports globally to be designated as being Pharma Hub Airports by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). For ten years, the two airports have been working in tandem on the pharma route that links the United States with Europe. IATA’s Pharma Certification Program certifies that all pharmaceutical products are transported following global best practices procedures.
MIA is a leading hub for pharmaceuticals
In 2019 Miami International Airport handled $3.7 billion in pharmaceutical imports and exports. Meanwhile, Brussels Airport was responsible for overseeing $30.9 million in pharmaceutical exports. 18% of MIAs pharmaceutical imports came from Europe, while 80% of its pharmaceutical exports went to Latin America and the Caribbean.
The addition of European Air Transport (EAT) Leipzig’s five weekly flights will add more strength to the Miami International Airports role as a leading hub for pharmaceutical products.
As well as specializing in transporting temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical products, Miami International Airport continues to be one of the busiest cargo airports in the United States. Last year MIA handled around 1.9 million tons of air freight.
When speaking about the new European Air Transport (EAT) Leipzig, Brussels to Miami flights in a press release, MIA Director and CEO Lester Sola said:
“We proudly welcome EAT Leipzig to MIA, and the significant capacity it brings to our network of European cargo service. Air cargo has never been more essential to the wellbeing of our community and our country than during this global crisis. As the busiest international freight airport in the US, MIA is uniquely positioned to quickly receive and transport life-saving pharma products, vaccines, and medical supplies to markets around the world.”
Southwest to launch daily flights from MIA
In other Miami International Airport news, Southwest Airlines announced it would launch its first-ever daily flights from MIA starting in November. Starting from November 15, the nation’s largest domestic carrier will offer flights from Miami International Airport to Baltimore, Chicago (Midway Airport), Houston (Hobby Airport), and Tampa International Airport.
When speaking about the new flights in a press release MIA Director and CEO Lester Sola said:
“We are deeply honored to see the substantial commitment of flights that Southwest Airlines is making to Miami-Dade County and to MIA. In addition to increased flight options for our passengers, Southwest’s expansion is expected to generate a sizable amount of business revenue and job creation within our community.”
It is good to see that cargo airlines are gearing up to transport coronavirus vaccines once they become available.
Please tell us what you think about the new flights in the comments.