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transporting horses by cargo plane

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Even if you are not a professional rider, you should know that sport horses are animals that travel a lot like for the Olympic Games or horse races. As with our athletes, high performance horses must travel all over the world. But how do you move a horse from one continent to another? And why choose the plane?


The formalities of transporting horses by cargo plane


Why transport a horse by cargo plane?


Horses are usually transported by truck, but for long distances such as FranceJapan, it is preferable to use shorter means of transportation. Horses are fragile animals and sensitive to changes in their environment, so it is preferable to avoid symptoms related to stress.

Cargo planes are a type of aircraft used for the transport of large loads and volumes. When it is used for the transport of animals and in particular horses, it is specially equipped for this purpose. A cargo plane also allows more security for the animal that benefits from the trip.

The reasons for transporting a horse in a cargo plane can be :

  • For a competition
  • For a sale
  • For a covering
  • For a move

Papers and rules concerning the transport of horses by cargo plane


For the transport of horses specifically, there are rules to respect. The owner must provide the transport company with

  • A passport from the French Equestrian Federation
  • An up-to-date health booklet.
  • The list of vaccinations
  • France Galop, health procedures with veterinarians, analysis laboratories and the DDPP (Direction Départementale de la Protection des Populations)
  • Import/export documents for the horse
  • ATA carnet.
  • Depending on the airline, the owner will have to provide other papers. To obtain these papers, you should count on a budget of a hundred euros or more, without counting the veterinary and sanitary controls that you will pay from your page.


Transport of horses by cargo plane
source : pixabay

How to transport horses by plane


In Europe there are only 5 airports that handle the transport of horses: Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Liege, Ostend and Roissy. Some of these airports, such as Liège, have a specific terminal with facilities to receive horses before their flight. The horses are put on the plane either by ramp or by crane. To get to the airport terminal you can opt for a classic van or a truck. There are companies that offer additional services to the flight and pick up your horse at your home, welcome him in the terminal and take care of all the administrative formalities.

There is an airline company that specializes in business aviation of sport horses. It is called Sutton Forwarding Co. and it uses a Boeing 727 fully equipped for the transport of horses.

Horses transported by cargo are often worth thousands, if not millions of euros. Their transport must therefore be 100% safe and comfortable. The horse is a fragile animal, which can very quickly get sick or injured. This is why planes carrying sport horses are equipped with several grooms and veterinarians who take care of the horses: from take-off to landing of the plane. Everything is set up to guarantee an optimal comfort to the animals. The challenge is also to control the stress of the animal which is sensitive to changes in environment and stress.


Three types of class for the transport of your horse


As for humans, there are three types of class for the transport of horses. The economy class, the business class and the VIP class. The difference between these 3 classes will be first of all the price. Count about ten thousand euros for the transport of your horse by plane. The second difference is in the space that the animal will have. For the economy class, the horse will have less space and will share its space. For the business class, the horse will have more space for him in his box. Finally, in VIP class, the horse will travel alone and will have its own space. In all cases the horses will have grooms and veterinarians dedicated to them.

For more information on animal transport and for any business aircraft charter request, contact us at AEROAFFAIRES at +33 1 44 09 91 82, by email: or fill in our online quote. We will respond as soon as possible.