Issue 6 2018 - FBJNA


Travelers enjoy a snack at Luſthansa’s Frankfurt Animal Lounge. (Luſthansa Cargo Photo)

Where horses fly By Harrison Donnelly

While some U.S. airlines grapple with bad publicity about their passengers’ pets, a number of international air cargo carriers are finding a lucrative and growing market for moving a diverse menagerie of animals—from giraffes to baby chicks— around the globe.

Animal air cargo is not new,

but signs today indicate that demand is increasing and that the

industry is developing

new capabilities and expertise to meet its unique challenges. Airports from Columbus, Ohio, to Dubai are investing in new facilities for animal transit, and the International

Air Transport Association (IATA) has developed a new certification program for ensuring animals’ safety and security. The scale and variety of

current operations is already impressive. During one recent month, for example, Turkish Cargo flew 10 lions to Pakistan, 10 giraffes to Bangladesh, four elephants to the United Arab

Emirates and three monkeys to Ukraine. Global demand for thoroughbred horses, however, is empowering growth in this field -- both for breeding purposes and for international events. One leader in this market

is Emirates SkyCargo, which transported a total of 350 horses over a recent four- month period. Recently, the carrier flew some of the world’s most highly rated racehorses to Dubai for the Dubai World Cup Championship, one of the most

anticipated and

prestigious horse racing events in the world.

Complex movement

Tigers seem comfortable but deeply wary as they await transport on Turkish Cargo. (Turkish Cargo Photo)

To transport animals of all types, carriers face complex operational issues covering topics such as shipping containers, in-flight safety, animal health and comfort, ground transfers, and documentation. Their efforts are largely guided by IATA’s Live Animal Regulations (LAR), which cover overall operating procedures as well as specific treatment

standards for individual species. “Air Canada Cargo is fully

compliant with LAR, and we ensure that all animals we transport are handled with great

care,” Cadorette, says Johanne spokesperson

, Air Canada Cargo. “Live shipments have a high priority of load, which means there are expedited tarmac times for these shipments. They are brought to the ramp first and removed from the aircraft promptly to shorten time on the tarmac. While in our facility, they are kept in dedicated zones away from the noise and activity. Air Canada Cargo works

with a veterinarian who advises the carrier on policies and procedures, and is available to its front line staff in the event a consultation is needed. Temperature control

and monitoring is another critical function. our

geography, our

“Given largest

operations issues are our changing weather, at least for warm-blooded animals,” notes Tomal Sohorab, Air

Canada Cargo’s cargo business development manager. “We have heat and cold embargoes, as well as aircraft restrictions in place to protect animals from extreme temperatures.” For example, the carrier

will not accept animals for transport on days when the ground temperature is 29.5 C [85 F] or more at the origin,

destination or any

transit point. “This does pose challenges--in these cases, shipments are rebooked on a subsequent flight,” he says. Emirates Sky Cargo, which,

for the third year in a row, transported close to 100 horses across continents during the first three legs of one of the world renowned show jumping event -- the Longines Global Champions Tour, ensures safe voyage for its live cargo. “We check all accompanying


documentation that supports the movement and check for any suspected foul play to the best our abilities,” says Henrik Ambak, Emirates senior vice president, cargo wo rl d w i d e


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