Thoroughbred Cargo Landing at Shannon
Shannon Airport’s status as a gateway to one of the world’s top equine breeding destinations has been endorsed with the arrival of the first batch of valuable equine cargo of 2016. These were also the first horses in many years to arrive in Shannon on a regular scheduled cargo flight.
Six thoroughbred mares were brought to a leading Irish stud in the south of the country, in what was also the first scheduled transportation of horses into Shannon with Turkish Airlines Cargo, which operates three weekly cargo services from Istanbul to Shannon which then continue to Chicago, Atlanta, and New York, each once a week.
The delicate cargo arrived in the prime of health, having been looked after by expert handlers, including a veterinarian, on board during the four hour flight to Shannon, which has many years’ experience of handling thoroughbreds and which regularly welcomes chartered cargo flights carrying horses.
The Turkish Cargo service to Chicago was launched at Shannon last year and initially saw the once weekly cargo flight stopping at Shannon Airport to North America for refueling and technical stops.
The service operates with Turkish Cargo’s Airbus A330F aircraft, a mid-size freighter, capable of transporting the full range of cargo—up to 65 tons—from high-value consumer goods, to industrial equipment, to thoroughbred horses.
Managing Director of the International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) and Patrick Edmond said that Shannon intends to capitalize on the rich equine tradition in its catchment. “There is a huge tradition of breeding across this region, not least in counties like Limerick, Tipperary, and Clare,” he said. “Some of the finest studs in the world are here, and Shannon is the gateway to this area.
“The equine sector is huge business for Ireland,” he added. “It not alone brings in some of the world’s top horses but also some of the world’s top business people. Shannon’s catchment includes a number of the world’s leading studs and our staff has a proud history of handling these precious thoroughbreds. We hope to increase this business in the future and the recent Turkish Cargo flight with these thoroughbred animals was an opportunity again to show what we can do.”