Air Partner lion relocation flight is a roaring success
The lion cub “King” was discovered in a Paris apartment in October last year, where he had been kept illegally as an exotic pet and neglected by his owner. Since then, he had been living temporarily at Natuurhulpcentrum rescue centre in Belgium but was recently found a new permanent home at Born Free’s Big Cat Rescue Centre at Shamwari Private Game Reserve in South Africa. Air Partner was tasked with transporting the big cat from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth on a chartered aircraft, from where he made the hour-long journey to Shamwari.
Air Partner’s freight team was on hand at all times to assist with the complex custom clearing process in Johannesburg and ensure a smooth transition from King’s initial commercial flight on Kenya Airways to the chartered Beech 1900 for the next leg of his journey. The turboprob was chosen for its suitable cargo size, which allowed two vets to travel alongside the lion with access at all times. Ensuring the safe loading and unloading of King was paramount, as was his health and welfare.
Mike Hill, Director of Freight, said: “We applaud the amazing work that Born Free does in the field of animal protection and were honoured to have played a role in this rescue mission to bring King to Shamwari, where he will be given expert care for rest of his life. We pride ourselves on our ability to handle every kind of cargo, however sensitive or valuable, and – as always – my thanks go to my team for their hard work and dedication.”
Maggie Balaskas, Animal Rescue and Care Manager at the Born Free Foundation, commented: “We were delighted that Air Partner was able to help us with this part of King’s life changing journey. King is already settling into his new home at our Big Cat Rescue Centre at Shamwari Private Game Reserve, South Africa – he is exploring his new surroundings and is intrigued by all the new sights and smells around him. King is one of the few lucky ones: we simply don’t know how many other wild animals are being kept illegally as pets across Europe. Born Free will continue to work hard to ensure that wild animals are kept where they belong – in the wild”.
Air Partner Freight charters aircraft of every size to fly cargo anywhere, at any time, whatever its weight, size or shape. Serving freight forwarders, governments, relief and humanitarian organisations, the freight team provides bespoke air charter and On Board Courier (OBC) solutions to meet a wide range of transport requirements. From urgent ‘go now’ requirements moving small quantities of automotive spare parts, through to the most complex project cargo shipments taking several months to plan, Air Partner Freight has the skills, experience and expertise to ensure shipments are handled securely and reliably. Air Partner Freight has cargo specialists in the UK, USA, Germany, France, Poland and Turkey, who provide strength of knowledge by utilising all types of aircraft for tailored cargo charter services.
About Air Partner:
Founded in 1961, Air Partner is a global aviation services group that provides worldwide solutions to industry, commerce, governments and private individuals. The Group has two divisions: Broking division, comprising air charter broking and remarketing; and the Consulting & Training division, comprising the aviation safety consultancies, Baines Simmons, Clockwork Research and SafeSkys, as well as Air Partner’s Emergency Planning Division. For reporting purposes, the Group is structured into four divisions: Commercial Jets, Private Jets, Freight (Broking) and Consulting & Training (Baines Simmons, Clockwork Research, SafeSkys and Air Partner’s Emergency Planning Division). The Commercial Jet division charters large airliners to move groups of any size. Air Partner Remarketing, which is within the Commercial Jet division, provides comprehensive remarketing programmes for all types of commercial and corporate aircraft to a wide range of international clients. Private Jets offers the Company’s unique pre-paid JetCard scheme and on-demand charter. Freight charters aircraft of every size to fly almost any cargo anywhere, at any time. Baines Simmons is a world leader in aviation safety consulting specialising in aviation regulation, compliance and safety management. Clockwork Research is a leading fatigue risk management consultancy. SafeSkys is a leading Environmental and Air Traffic Control services provider to UK and International airports. Air Partner is headquartered alongside Gatwick airport in the UK. Air Partner operates 24/7 year-round and has 20 offices globally. Air Partner is listed on the London Stock Exchange (AIR) and is ISO 9001:2015 compliant for commercial airline and private jet solutions worldwide. www.airpartner.com
About Born Free:
Born Free’s mission is to ensure that all wild animals, whether living in captivity or in the wild, are treated with compassion and respect and are able to live their lives according to their needs. Born Free opposes the exploitation of wild animals in captivity and campaigns to keep wildlife in the wild.
Born Free promotes Compassionate Conservation to enhance the survival of threatened species in the wild and protect natural habitats while respecting the needs of and safeguarding the welfare of individual animals. Born Free seeks to have a positive impact on animals in the wild and protect their ecosystems in perpetuity, for their own intrinsic value and for the critical roles they play within the natural world. For more information about Born Free please visit: www.bornfree.org.uk