Horses fly first class with Emirates SkyCargo

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Emirates SkyCargo is continuing to provide equines with a first-class service, with almost 2,000 horses using the Emirates Equine product.

The number of horses flying with Emirates SkyCargo increased 20% compared to 2017, taking advantage of the airline’s extensive network spanning six continents and almost 40 destinations around the world. Emirates SkyCargo says horses get transported across the world and demand is spread all over.

The airline adds: “Of course we do witness seasonal peaks to certain destinations. For example, during the Dubai racing season which extends from about December to March, we see quite a few champion horses arriving at or departing from Dubai.”

Normally the equine guests fly on scheduled services though sometimes they get to go on charter flights. Emirates SkyCargo tells Air Cargo Week: “When there are major equestrian championships, we see a demand for chartered flights for the horses. Some of our notable achievements have been the World Equestrian Games and the Longines Global Champions Tour.”

Emirates SkyCargo has been transporting premium horses since 2002 and developed a range of facilities and expertise to maximise comfort for the horses. The safety and comfort of the animals is of primary importance, ensuring the horses are not fatigued by the journey and are ready to hit the ground running after arrival.

Dubai World Central features a dedicated horse lounge including a permanent ramp to ensure horses are comfortable and not inconvenienced when moving from their transport vehicles to the horse stalls in the aircraft. It is one of the few global locations to host such a facility.

The airline says: “In addition our fleet of modern Boeing 777 freighters also helps maintain the best in-flight conditions for our equine champions. We also use customised horse stalls for transport and work with dedicated specialist companies such as Janah Management to ensure we’re providing optimal care for the horses on our flight.”

All of this ensures that Emirates SkyCargo can tackle very large projects, such as the largest commercial air charter for horses for a sporting event in September 2018. For the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018, 500 horses were flown from Liege, Belgium to Greenville-Spartanburg, USA and back.

The airline had to fly 19 freighter flights with each flight carrying 50-60 horses. In total, 220 horse stalls and 227 grooms accompanied the horses on the flight. Emirates SkyCargo also flew over 50 tonnes of horse feed and 240 tonnes of additional equipment for the horses.

Emirates SkyCargo says: “We dedicated two freighter aircraft to this project, which was one of the most logistically complicated Equine charter operations we have ever undertaken.”