When horses fly…
Most things are pretty standard in the road-freight industry … long-haul, fast-moving consumer goods and local distribution all come to mind. However, we don’t often give much thought to some of the things our transport counterparts in the skies sometimes have to move – like horses, for instance.
Last year alone, for example, Etihad Cargo’s SkyStables division shipped more than 2 500 horses around the world!
Most recently, 51 horses were accompanied by eight professional grooms and a veterinarian as they made the round-trip journey from Liège Airport in Belgium to Hong Kong International Airport for the annual Hong Kong Longines Masters.
Justin Carr, Etihad Cargo vice president, says: “Longines Masters is the top show-jumping event in the world and we are very proud to have been entrusted to bring these prized animals to this competition.
“Our equine customers are very important to us and our focus on safety, comfort and reliability has made us a preferred partner for these specialist services,” he says.
Etihad Cargo operates a fleet of five wide-body Boeing 777 freighters, which can be configured to carry up to 75 horses and nine grooms at a time. These planes are fitted wiith a specially designed ventilation structure and temperature-control system; two vital components when transporting horses.
It is also equipped with IATA-approved horse “air stalls”. Designed with non-slip floors, which are covered with absorbent materials, the stalls are stocked with hay and water for the horses to remain fed and hydrated throughout the flight.