Shannon welcomes mares to Irish stud hub

Shannon Airport welcomed six thoroughbred mares in what was the first transport of horses on a scheduled freighter flight into the Irish Republic gateway, with Turkish Airlines Cargo.

Patrick Edmond, managing director of the International Aviation Services Centre and Shannon Group strategy director, said that Shannon intends to capitalise on the "rich equine tradition" in its catchment area.

Said Edmond: “There is a huge tradition of breeding across this region, not least in counties like Limerick, Tipperary and Clare. Some of the finest studs in the world are here, and Shannon is the gateway to this area.”

“The equine sector is huge business for Ireland. It not alone brings in some of the world’s top horses but also some of the world’s top business people. Shannon’s catchment includes a number of the world’s leading studs and our staff have a proud history of handling these precious thoroughbreds. 

“We hope to increase this business in future and the recent Turkish Cargo flight with these thoroughbred animals was an opportunity again to show what we can do. Horses are often transported through Shannon on special charter flights, but this scheduled flight opens up an attractive and cost-effective new option for owners.

“It demonstrates that this Turkish Cargo service is a huge boost not only for exporters but also, based on the arrival of these horses, for highly valuable imports as well.”

Shannon Group has identified a major opportunity for the development of an airfreight hub, with large volumes of Irish air cargo exports currently being trucked to UK airports due to a lack of suitable direct flights from Ireland.

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