IAG Cargo and Iberia celebrate two-year anniversary of multi-million Euro Pharmaceutical centre in Madrid, as it takes centre stage in COVID-19 vaccine roll out

25/02/2021
  • IAG Cargo’s start-of-the-art pharmaceutical centre opened at its Madrid hub in 2019
  • Most recent shipments have included thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses
  • The Madrid centre is one of three IAG Cargo Constant Climate specialist hubs which connect to a network of 100 specialist stations worldwide

IAG Cargo, the cargo division of International Airlines Group (IAG) and Iberia, today celebrates the two-year anniversary of its pharmaceutical centre in Madrid, which is dedicated to its Constant Climate product for transporting temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical products. The Centre has played a key role in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and recently dispatched its 30th COVID-19 vaccine shipment.

Since opening in 2019, the IAG Cargo pharmaceutical centre in Madrid has processed over 20,000 consignments of pharmaceutical cargo, including life-saving vaccines to support global immunisation programmes for diseases such as polio, diphtheria, and measles. The most prominent markets and routes which the Centre serves are Latin America, the USA and Europe.

Most recently the Madrid centre has played a vital role in IAG Cargo’s work to transport the COVID-19 vaccines across the world, reflecting its status as a key global hub in the IAG Cargo Constant Climate infrastructure. To date, the Centre’s state of the art facilities have been used in the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines to the Canary and Balearic Islands, Dominican Republic and El Salvador, for shipments IAG Cargo has operated with its partner airline Iberia.

With two dedicated temperature-controlled chambers totalling over 900m2, the Madrid centre joins London Heathrow and Dublin as one of IAG Cargo’s three Good Distribution Practice (GDP) certified facilities. The hubs connect to a network of 100 specialist stations worldwide and are staffed by IAG Cargo and Iberia teams specially trained in handling sensitive pharmaceutical goods. It also benefits from a specialist fleet of refrigerated trucks.

Fernando Terol Armas, Director of Spanish Hub and Operations at IAG Cargo, commented: “The opening of our pharmaceutical centre in Madrid was a landmark moment for IAG Cargo - supporting our world-leading Constant Climate product. The decision to invest in this state-of-the-art facility reflects our long-term commitment to drive quality across our network, whilst increasing capacity for our customers who rely on us to transport pharmaceuticals and life-saving medicines across the world every day.

“Our Madrid pharmaceutical facility is the largest in Southern Europe and with its strategic location it will continue to play a key part in the global roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines alongside our two other GDP certified hubs in Dublin and London Heathrow.”

Mª Jesús López Solás, Commercial Director of Iberia, commented: “In the past two years Iberia and IAG Cargo have achieved much together, delivering life-saving vaccines and medicines via IAG Cargo’s specialist pharmaceutical centre in Madrid. Iberia provides a network of flights, connecting Southern Europe with the rest of the world, whilst IAG Cargo provides the cargo expertise to ensure these delicate temperature-sensitive products are expertly handled.”

In the past 12 months, IAG Cargo has played an important role in supporting the fight against COVID-19, transporting thousands of tonnes of PPE, medical equipment, testing kits and medicines working in collaboration with its sister airlines.