Preparing to load the rhino crates. Image: Martin Meyer/African Parks. Source: Network Airline Management
Network Airline Management (NAM) and charter broker Air Charter Service South Africa recently teamed up to operate a charter flight carrying 30 white rhinos from South Africa to Rwanda.
The direct flight from Durban to Kigali, operating with one of NAM’s wet-leased Air Atlanta Icelandic B747Fs, took four hours and the rhinos have been successfully rehomed in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park.
They rhinos were accompanied by specialist handlers who travelled on the aircraft to monitor the animals and provide them with food and water.
The group of 30 rhinos, weighing over 60 tonnes, consisted of a mix of 11 males and 19 females of varying ages to give the threatened species the best chance for successful breeding in the future.
Sam Lindsey, NAM’s senior commercial manager, said: “There are a lot of operational difficulties when arranging live animal charter flights, even more so during the Covid-19 pandemic and with a threatened species.
“However, our experienced operations and commercial teams were quick to resolve any issues to ensure the rhinos got to their final destination safely.”