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HONG KONG: March 19, 2018. Cathay Pacific Cargo (CX) is to offer its shipper customers a range of va-Q-tec passive thermal containers in five sizes and six temperature ranges from -60°C to +25°C.

CX is the first Hong Kong airline to be awarded IATA CEIV Pharma Certification and the new containers will be used for carrying pharmaceutical, healthcare and medical products.

The agreement with va-Q-tec coincides with the German company’s award of a European patent for passive pallet-size containers using energy-efficient vacuum insulation panels and phase change materials.

CX A350 1000"Imitators and competitors will now have to survive without some important thermal and mechanical functions," commented va-Q-tec founder and CEO Joachim Kuhn.

“The competition seems to be interested in the now legally protected technology and the highly energy efficient containers which are produced from it. We detected that competitors are offering patent infringing products. Obviously, we will take further steps to defend our technology," he added.

The patent is valid in Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Cathay Pacific general manager Cargo Service Delivery Frosti Lau noted: “These advanced passive thermal containers can offer steady temperature-controlled conditions for several days without requiring external energy sources. We are confident the containers will benefit our customers around the world.”

The Cathay Pacific Group reported revenue of HK$97.3 billion for 2017 - up 4.9 percent over the previous year – and a net loss of HK$1.26 billion, a rise of 119 percent for the period.

For the second half of 2017 performance improvements led to a turnaround from minus HK$928 million in H2 2016 to a profit of HK$792 million - following a loss of HK$2.05 billion in the first six months of last year. The group, which includes Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon and Air Hong Kong, said overcapacity on many key routes led to intense competition and yield pressure during the first half of last year.

Despite its passenger results, the group benefited from a 19.1 percent jump in cargo revenue to HK$23.09 billion in 2017 as tonnage flown increased 10.9 percent and yield rose 11.3 percent. By the end of 2018, Air Hong Kong – which operates a network with eight A300-600 freighters on behalf of DHL – will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific.

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