Technically, these passengers would be considered "cargo" since they were not human but equine in nature, including 24 geldings, nine stallions, and seven mares. Of these champions, 24 were jumping horses and 14 were for the sport of dressage. Their destination was the Fédération Equestre Internationale World Cup Finals.
Flight QR 8197 was arranged by the Dutta Corporation, an international horse transport specialist, based in North Salem, N.Y. Most companies that handle large animals and livestock as airfreight are privately held and closely guarded, so the size of the market is hard to pin down. But experts say it is a growing, high-value business. For instance, Charlie McMullen, global sales and development manager with U.K.-based Intradco Global Animal Transport, said charters can run anywhere from $80,000 to $500,000, depending on the route and number of animals. He once had two horses onboard with a combined value of roughly $86m.
According to U.S.-based equine experts H.E. Sutton Forwarding, an average load will have a combined value of anywhere from $50m to $500m.
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