• Pets fly high with Air Napier

Pets fly high with Air Napier

When Covid-19 shut down normal airline movements last year, it left many of man’s best friend – both of the canine and feline variety - stranded across New Zealand.

Puppies, and other pets ready to go to new homes were left in limbo. 

That was until Air Napier set up a dedicated live animal transport service using one of their twin-engine planes. The initial routes were aimed at Central North Island and Christchurch.

Air Napier CEO Shah Aslam says the decision to branch out into animal freight was a win-win.

“Breeders came to us during lockdown and explained the challenge they were facing moving puppies to their new homes. So we said we could help solve this problem and unite these furry bundles of joy with their new families," Aslam said

"We saw this as both a business opportunity and a practical way of helping families longing for their new pets to come home.”

And while New Zealand has returned to normal, the service has continued to operate out of Napier and Gisborne.

“During lockdown, we spoke to people who had their pets delivered to them in Christchurch and they appreciated the ease of taking delivery of their pet at the airport," Aslam said.

“Those sending pets also found the process easy and quick with little stress on the pet and no waiting around with a third party travel service. Our flights aim to minimise the time pets spend in their cages in transit as the flights are direct.”

Once news got out that there was a 24-7 pet carrier flight service, Aslam says breeders and owners of all types of animals started making inquiries.

“We had people enquire about transporting different types of birds – even an exotic fish breeder asked if we could move their animals," he said.

“While that may be possible in the future at this stage we will concentrate on just cats and dogs – in separate cages of course.”

Each flight can take up to 15 pets in individual PP40 cages, which owners have to provide, and pets will be seated on a first-come first-served basis.

For more information visit: www.airnapier.co.nz