Clip-cloppers Flying Again
After a long absence of flying horses due to pandemic related restrictions, the MASkargo Team has been kept busy in the past few weeks with horse charters. Multiple charter flights were mounted to accommodate the movements of 76 thoroughbreds to different destinations.
“I am happy that everything has gone according to plan”, said Che Adenan Che Wan, MASkargo’s Freighter Operations Senior Manager. “Since the pandemic started in early 2020, we had to embargo all horse transportations due to the international border closure and restrictions. Horse transportation requires the groom to be onboard to look after the horses’ welfare during the flight. It took us a while to figure out how to resume this business. We did some research, had discussions with shippers, agents, airport, immigration and health authorities especially from Australia and the Netherlands as most of our horse movements originate there. Finally, we agreed on a new process and conducted a successful trial run. Due to restrictions imposed by the Malaysian Ministry of Health which bars grooms from the Netherlands from traveling to Malaysia, a Malaysian groom traveled on the special charter flight from MST/KUL/ BWN, AMS/KUL/BWN. This was followed by another successful horse charter from Sydney into Macau.
“Due to health and safety concerns, new SOPs were introduced especially in respect of accompanying grooms. Before they are approved to travel onboard our aircraft, they will need to show their Covid-19 vaccination certificate and a PCR swab test done within 72 hours before departure. This is to ensure the health and safety of our crew members as well as our staff. Pre-departure PCR tests are also a requirement imposed by certain countries. Swab test documents must include a full lab report with negative result and in English. Once the grooms have shared their RT-PCR test results, we will submit these to Dato’ Dr. Razin Kamarulzaman, Head of Corporate Safety Oversight for his verification. Grooms are only allowed onboard upon receiving verification from Dato’ Dr. Razin’s office”, explained Che Adenan.
The thoroughbred horses from AMS had a two day break in their long journey where they rested at the stables and paddocks in MASkargo’s Animal Hotel (AVI) with care and attention aplenty by the AVI Team. After a good rest, the horses were well prepared to be on their way to the next destination in the pink of health and happy mood.
The pandemic has presented so many challenges to lives and businesses everywhere and the battle against it is still raging. It is very important to keep our fighting spirit alive and not be battered by challenges. Thanks to the great minds and attitudes in Team MAG, we managed to come together and formulated solutions to revive our horse transportation business.