(1 March 2013, Hong Kong)
Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) has handled the largest horse shipment on a single flight in its 37-year history.
The shipment of 63 show-jumpers, which touched down on 24 February, were flown in from Liege as arranged by Lufthansa Cargo on a B747 chartered freighter to take part in the first Longines Hong Kong Masters at AsiaWorld-Expo from 28 February to 2 March, Hong Kong's first international show jumping event and the only five-star accredited competition on the equestrian calendar to take place in Asia.
On arrival in Hong Kong, the horses were unloaded from the aircraft and transferred to Hactl’s Livestock Handling Centre, located to minimise exposure to potentially stressful ramp noise. The horses were transferred in their air stalls to the Centre, where they negotiated a gently-sloping ramp – essential to prevent leg injuries - onto waiting air-conditioned horse-boxes arranged by Hong Kong Jockey Club. Hactl deployed a team of highly-trained professionals to assist in handling the shipment.
Ruediger Helm, Regional Director, South China and Taiwan of Lufthansa Cargo says: "We were delighted to be appointed as the official carrier to handle this very valuable shipment for such a prestigious and exciting new event. Although we regularly carry such valuable cargo, this was one of the largest movements we have handled to date. We thank Hactl for their major contribution to its successful outcome."
Adds Hactl Chief Executive Mark Whitehead: "We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Lufthansa Cargo on this special shipment. And I am pleased that all horses were safe and healthy upon arrival and transferred smoothly from loading to the horse-boxes. We are already well prepared for the post-event shipment, ensuring that all horses return home comfortably.
Show jumping in Hong Kong and Asia is fast growing in popularity. We expect such shipments to become more frequent in the future, and are confident that the success of this movement, combined with the HK$14 million investment we have made in our live animal handling facility, will contribute to Hong Kong's appeal as a major international show-jumping venue."