NEW YORK, Sept.5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Air Partner, the only aviation charter service to hold a Royal Warrant by Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen, has just delivered a very different type of passenger. Yesterday, the company's Freight Division teamed up with Animal Place, a farm animal rescue organization, to freight 1,150 hens from northern California to sanctuaries on the US East Coast.
The hens were part of a flock of 3,000, saved from slaughter after becoming unproductive at the California egg-laying farm where they had lived. While on the farm, they had their beaks clipped and were kept in cramped cages around the clock. They arrived at Animal Place covered in parasites, having never set foot on anything other than the wire mesh of their cages. They were kept at the organization's Grass Valley location, receiving veterinary care and acclimatizing to their new freedom.
Animal Place isn't equipped to maintain this many birds permanently and, while the organization found homes for most in nearby sanctuaries, many were fortunate to find a string of welcoming partners throughout New York State.
But transporting 1,150 chickens across the country isn't as easy as it sounds. Commercial airlines are unable to provide the conditions necessary to freight the adult hens, and the logistics of driving them cross-country proved too complicated and costly. Chartering a cargo plane became the only solution and Air Partner Freight stepped in.
"In over 50 years of experience, we have shipped all manner of freight, but I have to say, this was certainly one of our more interesting cargos," said Phil Mathews, President of Air Partner North America. "While these birds don't match our normal clientele of business and leisure travelers, we were more than happy to give them a lift to their new home."
"We scheduled a red eye flight so the ladies could wake up refreshed in the Empire State," joked Chris Armstrong, Freight Director for Air Partner North America. "Because the chickens slept through most of the flight, they didn't need to eat or drink during those hours and the whole experience was much less stressful for them. They've been through enough already."
The birds, who have never had enough room to stretch their wings, flew 3,000 miles at 25,000 feet to farms across New York. "It's pretty amazing to see how lively these animals are now. We're happy to be a part of providing them with safe and comfortable new homes," said Mathews.
About Air Partner: Air Partner has been trading for over 50 years and is a world-leading provider of aviation charter services to industry, commerce, governments, and individuals worldwide. The Group is globally recognized as a leading charter broker and organizes ad hoc aircraft charters of every type for any reason. Its three main divisions comprise Air Partner Freight, Air Partner Commercial Jets and Air Partner Private Jets. The Commercial Jets division charters commercial airliners to move groups of any size. Private Jets offers the company's pre-paid JetCard scheme and on-demand charter for individuals and smaller parties. With its headquarters alongside Gatwick airport in the UK, Air Partner operates 24/7 year-round and employs 200 aviation professionals across its 21 offices spanning Europe, North America, the Far East, and Middle East. Air Partner is the only company in the aviation industry to hold a Royal Warrant, a globally recognized mark of excellence.
About Phil Mathews: British-born Philip Mathews graduated from Buckingham University in 1989 with a BA (Hons) in Politics, Economics, and Law and has worked in the aviation industry for more than 20 years. He joined Air Partner in 2002 and was appointed President of the US business in 2003.
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SOURCE Air Partner