Network Airline Services has renewed its ground handling agreement with Frankfurt Cargo Services (FCS) in Frankfurt, Germany. The ongoing collaboration between Network Airline Services and FCS started back in 2018. NAS Europe MD Patricia Heilbrink said she was pleased to continue “this great relationship for another five years”.

    FCS handles various airlines for Network Airline Services in Frankfurt, including Allied Air Cargo, Astral Aviation and Trans Caribbean.

    Back in January, FCS announced that it had handled its first shipments of Covid-19 vaccines from German biotechnology company BioNTech. Doses of the vaccine were held at Frankfurt Cargo Services’ facility at Frankfurt’s CargoCity Süd before being loaded into the cargo hold of a Royal Jordanian Airlines A319 bound for Amman.

    The airline-independent cargo handler at Frankfurt Airport said it had been completing preparations to support vaccine shipments as part of parent company Worldwide Flight Services’ ‘Project Coldstream’ initiative.

    Under the initiative, the group is coordinating a global response to the anticipated transportation of some 16 billion doses of vaccine. In Frankfurt, this has included gaining CEIV certification by IATA, as well as the Pharma and Good Distribution Practice (GDP) certification by the European Union in November.

    The IATA certification is given to companies that can ensure high quality across the board for sensitive medical products. With vital deliveries of large quantities of the Covid-19 vaccine proving essential in order to combat the pandemic, these kinds of handling options are becoming more important than ever before.

    FCS manager of processes and pharma handling Stefan Kassau said at the time: “The requirements that apply to safe storage and transportation of pharmaceutical products have been evolving steadily in recent years. Pharmaceutical handling is very demanding. It requires clear and stable processes for product safety. Earning certification according to the IATA CEIV standard confirms to us and our customers the quality of FCS’s longstanding activities in this segment.

    “It is the basis and incentive for continuing and building on our successful work and guaranteeing our customers that their pharmaceutical consignments will be handled safely at Frankfurt Airport.”

    The IATA audit found the internal training on handling pharmaceutical products that is incorporated into the FCS training concept according to IATA CEIV specifications to be of a satisfactory nature.