DOHA, Qatar – A total of 67 world-class showjumping horses were transported on Qatar Airways Cargo freighters from Liège, Belgium, to Doha, Qatar, for the final round of the 2014 Longines Global Champions Tour season which concluded on 15 November 2014.
The final Grand Prix of this year's series took place at AL SHAQAB, one of the most spectacular equestrian venues in the world, providing a fabulous international stage for the crowning of the overall Longines Global Champions Tour Champion.
The horses along with approximately 20 tonnes of cargo and equestrian equipment per freighter were transported via two Boeing 777F charter operations, with an accompanying eleven grooms per freighter, to ensure care, and safe and secure carriage from Liège to Doha and back for the horses.
“We take great pride in our handling capabilities and ensure all appropriate care is taken, providing pets and other transported animals with a five-star service on the ground and in the air. Our focus remains on providing the special attention required, during all phases of transportation, to ensure a smooth comfortable and restful journey for the animals,” said Mr. Ulrich Ogiermann, Chief Officer Cargo for Qatar Airways.
“All Qatar Airways Cargo staff attend a number of training courses in animal handling, and our personalised service, high quality of operation, and excellent record of on-time delivery makes us a prime carrier for the transportation of live animals.”
Jan Tops, President of the Longines Global Champions Tour, said: "The horses had a first-class flight experience and I want to thank Qatar Airways Cargo for its close co-operation on this important matter. The welfare and safety of the horses is our top priority."
Qatar Airways Cargo transports all kinds of animals in accordance with International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live Animal Regulations. Unlike pets such as cats and dogs, horses cannot be transported in the lower deck of regular passenger planes and must be flown on dedicated freighters. Prior to the flight, the horses are loaded into “air stables” or “horse stalls” which are special containers that can fit up to three horses side by side so that they are safe and secure while on the aircraft. A typical air stable is 294 cm wide and 232 cm high.
From January 2012 through to October 2014, Qatar Airways Cargo has transported 2,210 horses all around the world. In July 2014, Qatar Airways Cargo flew 53 showjumping horses from Calgary, Canada, to Liège in Belgium where they trained to participate in the World Equestrian Games (WEG) that were held in Normandy in August, while in March 2014 79 horses were transported from Liège to Doha and back, via two freighters for the CHI AL SHAQAB event.
By utilising the fleet of Boeing 777F and Airbus A330F aircraft, Qatar Airways Cargo offers customers worldwide an increasing portfolio of part and full-charter services.
By doing this, Qatar Airways has operated charters carrying cargo ranging from horses to outsized items for the oil and gas industry.
Qatar Airways Cargo completed the transition from a manually handled cargo environment to a fully automated cargo terminal at Hamad International Airport. The brand new terminal contains a 4,200 sq. m live animal facility with dedicated stalls for horses, kennels for pets and separate holding areas for various live animals. The facility is equipped with veterinary laboratory, washing bays, feeding area, hydraulic work stations, sick bays, quarantine area and exercise area. Expert animal health care services are provided on request, 24-hours a day, seven-days-a-week.
The brand new cargo terminal at Hamad International Airport offers state-of-the-art modern technology and five-star services to customers across the globe.
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About Qatar Airways Cargo
Qatar Airways Cargo serves more than 40 exclusive freighter destinations worldwide via its Doha hub and also delivers freight to 145 key business and leisure destinations globally on 141 aircraft. The Qatar Airways Cargo fleet currently includes three Airbus A330F and seven Boeing 777F. At the Dubai Airshow 2013, Qatar Airways placed a firm order for five new Airbus A330-200F aircraft. Also included in the order were eight additional A330-200F options, for a total of 13 aircraft. At the recent Farnborough Show, Qatar Airways announced its intent to order four Boeing 777F aircraft and options for four more. IATA's Airline Industry Forecast 2014-2018 report mentions that Qatar will be a notable growth country with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7 percent, making it the sixth-fastest growing to take its total freight tonnes to 1,484,000 per annum.