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January 26, 2021

South Korea goes Hybrid – SkyCell and Korean Air announce partnership

We are delighted to announce that SkyCell and Korean Air Cargo have signed an agreement to lease SkyCell’s hybrid containers. The partnership follows SkyCell’s recent launch of a service centre in Seoul and the appointment of Charlie Cho as Business Development Director for Korea as of January 1st.


The partnership comes at a crucial point with the increase in demand for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments this year. Cold-chain maintenance for vaccine transportation is a significant challenge for the global logistics industry, and together SkyCell and Korean Air ensure these lifesaving medicine reach patients timely and in pristine condition.

Eum, Jae Dong, Senior Vice President and Head of Cargo Business Division, Korean Air

We were attracted to the fact that Skycell has recently opened a new station in Seoul, and that its sustainable and self-recharging hybrid containers are in line with our green management policy. Through this agreement, we are pleased to expand our service offering to the pharma industry with SkyCell’s hybrid containers and provide our clients with a safe and sustainable solution to protect sensitive products.

Chiara Venuti, Director of Business Development and Head of Airline Partnerships, SkyCell

We at SkyCell are proud to partner with Korea Air and ensure vital medicine reach their destinations fast and without spoilage. As we navigate this difficult time together we are committed to helping our partners achieve their goals, and ensure these vital medicines are transported in a safe and timely manner. When shipping vital pharmaceutical products, there is no room for error, and we are happy to support Korean Air to ship pharmaceuticals in a sustainable way.

The Korean pharmaceutical industry has seen rapid growth over the last five years, growing at an annual rate of around 7%, led by locally developed novel therapies and biosimilars – almost three times faster than the manufacturing sector. Exports of Korean pharmaceuticals grew by 11.2% last year to over $5.19 billion. The partnership will meet the growing demand for hybrid containers as safe and sustainable pharma solutions for sensitive and critical drugs such as oncology drugs.

Charlie Cho, Business Development Director Korea

As the tiger nation for pharma export, South Korea needs reliable and sustainable cold chain solutions. SkyCell’s hybrid containers offer Korean pharma shippers the reliability they require while reducing the carbon footprint.

SkyCell’s highly innovative hybrid containers allow pharma companies to optimise supply chains using data to predict and control risk. Using over three-quarters of a billion data-points on factors like temperature, location, and time, it enables SkyCell to be at the highest level of the market with an audited failure rate of less than 0.1 percent while reducing environmental and business costs.

In 2021, Korean Air will continue to work harder to achieve the mission of ‘Excellence in Flight’. In 2019, Korean Air was awarded the IATA Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Pharma certification. IATA’s ‘CEIV Pharma’ is an international standard that indicates an airline’s capability to manage pharmaceuticals, including the handling procedure, equipment, and facilities. More than 280 checklists are evaluated by validators to authorize the certification. In partnership with SkyCell, Korea Air will continue to meet and exceed, these standards.

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