Flying horses keep Luxair Cargo busy all year

Published: Monday, April 24, 2017

“Horses that travel well will be
bright and alert with a normal
rectal temperature upon arrival
at their destination. Unload
horses as soon as possible to
avoid additional confinement
and other stress factors. They
should voluntarily drink and be
keenly interested in eating
within 1 or 2 hours of arrival.
Hand walking or turnout in a
small paddock for an hour or so
upon arrival after a long journey
is recommended,”

Hourses always been an important ally of humans
throughout history in both
times of peace and war.

They and some other four-legged
animals like mules, donkeys and
camels, have also played crucial roles
in sustaining communities in different
parts of the world, particularly in the
Middle East, for food, transportation
and recreation.

In modern times, horses and other
exotic animals are still considered
prized possessions fetching prices
that could be higher than the blue
book value of the plane used in
transporting them from one continent
to another.

The first known air transport of horses
was recorded in the 1920s. By the
1950s, it has been the norm between
some European countries that use
horses for competition, breeding and

The first carriage of horses was said to
have been with a Boeing 707 and the
rest is history.

The business of flying animals

Luxair CARGO, the world’s biggest
handling agent, also has horses to
thank for its thriving business.

The constant journey of horses and
other live animals has kept the
company busy in 2016 and the trend is
expected to be carried through this
year says Antoine Decker, manager
business development & contracts at
Luxair CARGO.

Decker said their company has in fact
increased and modernized its animal
station to accommodate the ever
increasing traffic in transporting
horses from their biggest client,
Cargolux, which has kept its main hub
in Luxembourg. Qatar Airways ranks
second in transporting live animals.
“Beginning of 2016, we increased our
animal stations because of the traffic.
We’re mainly transporting horses,
every kind of tigers, alpacas, day-old
chick, you name it,” said Decker who
has been with the company for
almost 30 years now.

Decker explained their company
provides comfortable stalls and other
similar shelters for the horses and
other live animals to keep them safe
and healthy en route to their final

“When it’s time to travel, the horses
always have grooms with them and
whatever they need to stay healthy
and strong,” said Decker, one of few
“Luxembourgers” in the industry.
The business executive said their
company handled 759,000 tons for
Luxembourg in 2016 up by 6% and he
credits their major customers–
Cargolux, Panalpina, Qatar Airways
and Silkway—for this.

Equine stress

Companies transporting horses
adhere to certain international rules
to keep the animal at ease and healthy
while traveling.

This would protect them from getting
the so-called “equine stress” which
could affect their general state of
physical and mental health.