As preparations for distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine continue worldwide, Miami International Airport on October 1 welcomed the launch of more all-cargo flights from Brussels, Belgium – Europe’s leading hub for handling temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical (pharma) products such as vaccines. European Air Transport (EAT) Leipzig, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL Group, began five weekly flights with Airbus A330-200F aircraft capable of carrying 65 tonnes per flight.
EAT Leipzig’s new Brussels service follows launches by DHL Express and Amerijet, which began cargo flights between Brussels and MIA in March and April, respectively. Combined, the airlines now provide 13 weekly flights between the two pharma hubs. Brussels Airport and MIA were the first two airports in the world designated as Pharma Hub Airports by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and have been working on expanding their shared pharma route for the past decade. IATA’s Pharma Certification Program certifies that pharma products are transported in accordance with global best practices.
Last year, MIA handled a total of $3.7 billion in pharma imports and exports, with Belgium ranking as one of MIA’s top 10 trade partners for pharma imports at $12.7 million. Belgium was also responsible for $30.9 million in pharma exports. Additionally, with 18 percent of MIA’s pharma imports coming from Europe and 80 per cent of MIA’s exports going to Latin America and the Caribbean by volume, the new Miami-Brussels cargo flights adds more muscle to MIA’s already strong connections with its US, European, Latin American and Caribbean markets.
MIA also continues to be America’s busiest airport for international freight, handling 1.9 million tons in 2019.
“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,” said Lester Sola, MIA director and CEO.