Etihad Cargo, the freight division of Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways, announced that it has started a new equine service called SkyStables, which will allow customers to transport horses and other similar species by air.
SkyStables will offer owners, breeders and equestrian organisations “bespoke global transport arrangements” on Etihad Cargo’s fleet of 10 Airbus and Boeing wide-body freighters, a statement said. Its fleet currently includes four Airbus A330-200F, three Boeing B777F, and three Boeing 747F.
The service, bookable from August 13, is being rolled-out across Etihad Cargo’s network of 44 freighter destinations. Personalised charter services to other cities are also available, the carrier said.
Horses will travel in dedicated stalls equipped with anti-slip floors, which are then loaded in temperature controlled sections of the aircraft. The animals can be attended to by their grooms throughout the flight.
Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways chief strategy and planning officer, said: “SkyStables goes beyond simply meeting the safety, security and reliability needs of equine owners, offering a more comprehensive air transport solution which is overseen by dedicated and fully trained Etihad Cargo equine managers.
“The animals are well looked after prior to, during and after the flight, and combined with a dedicated handling team and facilities at our Abu Dhabi hub, we also have approved export and import processes in place with local UAE customs and police, in addition to a full veterinary service at Abu Dhabi International Airport.”
Etihad Cargo, which offers services to 108 destinations internationally, is rapidly expanding operations. It carried 268,713 tonnes of freight and mail in the first half of this year, up 25 per cent year-on-year, and remains “on track” to become a billion dollar business in 2014, the Abu Dhabi carrier said last month.