Etihad Cargo has signed a memorandum of understanding with B Medical Systems to develop airline-specific passive temperature-controlled containers to transport pharmaceuticals.

The airline and the Luxembourg-based manufacturer and distributor of medical refrigeration devices will develop containers that utilise passive cooling technology.

The units will retain temperatures from -80 to +25 Celsius for up to five days without requiring an external power source, capable of carrying from 2 to 1,500 litres.

By reducing the amount of power needed, the units will significantly reduce carbon emissions, and to further increase their sustainability, the robustly designed units will have a lifespan of more than 10 years.

Martin Drew, Senior Vice President – Sales and Cargo at Etihad Aviation Group, says, “While other traditional active container providers are offering containers fit for multi-modal transportation, Etihad Cargo is the first airline globally to collaborate with a partner in the development and launch of units specifically tailored to air transportation.”

Adding that sustainability is a top priority for Etihad Cargo, Drew says that aviation accounts for 4% of carbon emissions today but this could rise to 25% by 2050 if action is not taken.

He says, “Partnering with B Medical Systems is the latest step by Etihad Cargo to achieve its sustainability targets. By replacing legacy active cold chain air transportation containers with aviation-specific units that consume less energy, Etihad Cargo is future-proofing the transportation of pharmaceuticals, providing a better solution for Etihad Cargo's customers, the aviation industry and the environment.”

Jesal Doshi, Deputy CEO of B Medical Systems, adds, “Our mission at B Medical Systems is to create technology that helps save lives across the world. Transportation of temperature-sensitive specimens needs a robust cold chain. Etihad Cargo's operational knowledge along with our expertise in creating quality medical cold chain solutions will enable us to develop aviation-specific sustainable units for the safe, effective, and environmentally friendly transportation of temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals and specimens.”