FORT WORTH, Texas – Starting April 4, 2017, American Airlines will begin daily, nonstop widebody service between San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín Airport (SJU) and Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), home of American Airlines Cargo’s dedicated 25,000-square-foot pharmaceutical facility. The daily Airbus A330-200 widebody route will begin in April and will be in addition to the two daily narrow-body flights today.

The daily service will provide added capacity for shippers across the world transporting goods to and from SJU, including pharmaceuticals, cell phones, medical instruments and aircraft parts. The widebody route also connects seamlessly to American’s significant widebody network in North America, Asia and Europe.

According to the Puerto Rico Report (2016), the Caribbean island accounted for 24 percent of all pharmaceutical and medicine exports from the U.S., positioning San Juan as one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing bases in the world. Adding a daily widebody flight connects American’s recently enhanced cold chain infrastructure at SJU with our state-of-the-art pharma facility at PHL, allowing for the direct movement of sensitive cold chain pharmaceutical shipments. The pharma facility in PHL is completely dedicated to healthcare products that require the highest possible level of service and maintenance available. In addition to 24/7 active monitoring and full backup power generators, different temperature-control options include a 6,000-square-foot room for Controlled Room Temperature (CRT) shipments, a 3,000-square-foot space that maintains a cold (COL) environment, a deep frozen area (FRO), and a zoned active container management (ACM) area with powered charging stations for up to 30 electronically controlled containers.

“Bringing in a daily widebody for this route will give us the opportunity to offer customers more capacity to and from both of these high-demand locations,” said Linda Dreffein, sr. manager, American Airlines Cargo Sales – Eastern Division. “Plus, it will hugely benefit us in our ongoing efforts to enhance and evolve our already world class cold-chain program.”

In addition to the new widebody option, PHL—American’s flagship pharmaceutical station—will be one of the carrier’s first locations worldwide to achieve CEIV certification.