Monkey Business - Baby orang-utan travels VIP with IAG Cargo

23 May 2017 12:10 PM | Robin Turner (Administrator)

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May 2017

For the first time ever, a baby Orangutan has flown business class from Moscow to London. The special rescue journey was made possible by a team of experts from IAG Cargo, Monkey World and Moscow Zoo.

Loren, an infant Bornean orang-utan was rejected by her mother immediately after birth at Moscow Zoo and has since been cared for by keepers. Experts from Moscow Zoo have worked tirelessly with the world renowned Dorset sanctuary Monkey World to help give baby Loren a family of her own kind again.

Due to Loren’s young age of 21 months, the best way for a rescue to happen was for Loren to fly in the passenger Cabin. IAG Cargo and sister company British Airways made special arrangements for Loren to fly business class from Moscow to London, allowing her to receive care from a team of specialists throughout her journey.

Over the last 3 months, the team at IAG Cargo and Monkey World worked alongside teams at the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Departments of Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and British Airways to gain the relevant approvals to allow her access to the cabin.

Loren was kept safe and secure throughout the four and a half hour flight, occupying an IATA compliant container. She was accompanied by Gabriella Tamasi, an animal air transport specialist at IAG Cargo and a team from Monkey World who ensured Loren’s complete wellbeing throughout the journey.

“While we transport tens of thousands of animals safely in the cargo holds of our aircraft each year, when we heard about Loren, her background and her age we realised we needed to do all we could to get an exception granted that would allow her to fly in the cabin,” explains Tamasi.  “She has gone through the same pre-flight checks that all animals we transport go through and as a signatory to United for Wildlife, it’s a real privilege to be able to accompany her on this exciting journey.”

Following her arrival at London Heathrow, Loren was met by DEFRA on board the aircraft and then moved to the Animal Reception Centre who look after animals that fly with IAG Cargo each year.   From Heathrow she was moved by road to the Monkey World sanctuary in Dorset.

IAG Cargo regularly transports animals protected under the CITES agreement and works closely with IATA, ATA, the City of London Animal Reception Centre and the UK Border Force CITIES team to ensure all animals are transported and treated in the safest and best possible way.

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