Qatar Cargo confirms cattle charters
18 / 07 / 2017
Qatar Airways Cargo has confirmed it will transport more than 4,000 cattle as part of a project to set up a dairy farm in Qatar and bypass the blockade set up by some of the state’s neighbours.
In a statement sent out today, the airline confirmed it had won the deal to transport the Holstein cows and added that it had already completed the first two shipments, totalling 330 cows, utilising its Boeing B777F aircraft.
Air Cargo News reported that the initial flight had taken place from Budapest earlier this week.
In total, Qatar Cargo has been appointed to charter more than 20 cattle shipments from Europe, the US and Australia in the next few weeks.
Upon arrival at Hamad International Airport, the cattle are transferred to Baladna Farm, a huge livestock farm in Qatar owned by Power International
The farm is built over 700,000 sq m and includes 40,000 Awassi sheep able to withstand high temperature and produce high-quality milk. The farm also houses 5,000 goats and an animal feed mill yielding 100 tonnes per day.
Power International chairman Moutaz Al Khayyat said: “We are proud to expand the dairy industry in the State of Qatar, and are thankful to Qatar Airways Cargo for the expedient, safe and secure transportation of the cattle that have now safely arrived at their new home, Baladna Farm.
“With the arrival of the dairy cows, we aim to meet 30-35% of the imported milk demand in the country within two months.”
Qatar’s aircraft are currently banned from entering the airspace of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt after it was accused of destabilising the Middle East region through its support of extremist groups – something it denies.
As well as the closure of airspace, Saudi Arabia has closed its land boarder, which is how 40% of food imports arrive in the country.
The plans for the dairy farm were already in place ahead of the blockage, but were brought forward in light of the diplomatic row.
The airline also confirmed it had undertaken an airlift of food and grocery items
The undertaking lasted several weeks and used its own fleet, as well as other leased aircraft.
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