In addition to flying tonnes of essential medical supplies to the UK and around the world due to the impact of Covid-19, British Airways and its sister company IAG Cargo partnered with AIA Pets to fly 50 special four-legged friends on a cargo flight from Cyprus to the UK to their new homes.
The 36 dogs and 14 cats are neglected animals, that were abandoned and taken to pounds or left on the streets across Cyprus. A variety of charities in Cyprus rescued the animals, before giving them essential medical checks and finding new homes for them all in the UK.
Highly trained staff and animal handlers ensured that the animals received specialist care and attention as they travelled on a British Airways 747 cargo flight from Larnaca to London Heathrow. In addition to the animals, the aircraft was also carrying items including food, perishables and essential medical supplies.
On arrival at London Heathrow, the animals travelled by road to Gatwick’s Animal Reception Centre, before being safely collected by their new owners – both private homeowners across the UK and a rescue centre, where they will soon be rehomed.
British Airways Captain, Paul Walker-Northwood, who was a member of the flight crew operating the flight said: “In these difficult times, our teams are working around the clock to help bring customers home and fly essential supplies into the UK and to communities around the world most in need. As well as bringing in those supplies on this flight, we were pleased to support this mission to bring these new four-legged family members to the UK to give them the chance of better, more comfortable lives here with their new owners. At British Airways, animal welfare is important to us and we know how important it is to our customers. We are sure their arrival will bring real much-needed pleasure to their new families during a challenging period.”
Airbridge International Agencies (AIA Pets) C.E.O, Mark Andrew said: “We’d like to offer a special thank you to all of those involved in arranging this special flight and are proud to play our part in delivering these pets to their new home.”