Anyone planning to relocate domestic animals should be well-prepared. And if the distance is over 4,000 kilometers, then it’s time to call the professionals. This is how far 30 cats and one pigeon had to travel as part of a private relocation from Tuscany to Senegal – on board Lufthansa planes. Marco Colombo handled the organization on behalf of his customer from the first to the last yard. His company Home Boarding Shipping Pets has been specialized in the transportation of animals for six years now. “It’s very important that the cats have enough space and always get enough fresh air,” he says. The size and weight of the animals determine which transport boxes are needed, and how much space they will take up in the cargo hold. Colombo also cooperated closely with the animal lover with regard to all the other preparations. The journey began in a transport van traveling from Pisa in Italy to Aeroporto di Venezia “Marco Polo” (VCE). The handling and preparation of the Air Waybills in Venice was the responsibility of A.Elle Cargo. This forwarding company is registered with Lufthansa Cargo as an animal forwarding agency – a prerequisite for making bookings for the “Live” product, which is specially tailored to suit each individual animal. From Venice, the animals then flew on board an Airbus A320 to their first stop at Frankfurt Airport (FRA).
At the Frankfurt Animal Lounge, Lufthansa Cargo combines handling, animal coordination and veterinary services on a floor space of around 4,000 square meters. The 50 employees and trained animal keepers ensure individual round-the-clock care. In the transit area, the four-legged passengers can recover from their journey, shielded from view and noise. There are three separate rest areas set aside especially for cats. Lowering stress levels: the animals are brought to the plane in Frankfurt just before it is ready to take off. After the three-hour stopover, the cats (and the pigeon!) continued their journey to Dakar – in an MD-11F, the aircraft which Lufthansa Cargo flies from Frankfurt to the West African metropolis three times a week. Six hours and 15 minutes later, the good news for the owner: the pigeon and the cats have all landed at the Aéroport International Blaise Diagne (DSS). “The seamless monitoring throughout the journey and the route network of Lufthansa Cargo give our customers reassurance,” says Marco Colombo, who has already transported over 500 animals to date, “and anyone entrusting their pets to somebody else needs to have that feeling of trust and confidence.”