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Turkish Airlines Cargo brings new thoroughbred service to Shannon

[ March 14, 2016   //   ]

Shannon Airport’s status as a gateway to one of the world’s top equine breeding destinations has received an endorsement 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 horse transport into Shannon with Turkish Airlines Cargo, which operates three weekly cargo services from Istanbul to Shannon which then continue to Chicago (once a week), Atlanta (once a week) and New York (once a week).
The delicate cargo arrived in the prime of health at Shannon, having been looked after by expert handlers, including a vet, on board during the four hour flight en route to Shannon, which has many years’ experience of handling thoroughbreds and which regularly welcomes chartered cargo flights carrying horses.
The Turkish Cargo service Chicago was launched at Shannon to last year and initially saw the once weekly cargo flight stopping at Shannon Airport en route to North America for refuelling and technical stops.
Turkish Cargo now operates all-cargo air services on Thursday, Friday and Sunday from Istanbul to Shannon and on to New York, Chicago and Atlanta , significantly boosting options for Irish importers and exporters, from multi-nationals to SMEs and local businesses.
The service operates with Turkish Cargo’s modern fuel-efficient Airbus A330F aircraft, which is the world’s most modern mid-size freighter, capable of transporting the full range of cargo – from high-value consumer goods, to industrial equipment, to thoroughbred horses.
The aircraft has a payload of up to 65 tonnes. Turkish Cargo’s fleet is one the youngest fleets among the European carriers and Turkish Airlines is proud to provide business partners with a worldwide cargo service by flying to more than 268 destinations in 109 countries with fleet including 300 aircrafts in total, 10 of which are cargo aircrafts.
Managing Director of the International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) and Shannon Group Strategy Director Patrick Edmond said that Shannon intends to capitalise 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. 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. 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 future and the recent Turkish Cargo flight with these thoroughbred animals was an opportunity again to show what we can do. Horses are often transported through Shannon on special charter flights, but this scheduled flight opens up an attractive and cost-effective new option for owners.
“It demonstrates that this Turkish Cargo service is a huge boost not only for exporters but also, based on the arrival of these horses, for highly valuable imports as well.”

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