Stable business for AF-KLM

AIR France-KLM flights to Japan are often abuzz. The reason for this, are bumblebees headed to the land of the rising sun to be deployed as an ecological alternative to pesticides.

“Japan is a big market for this. We ship bumblebees there on a weekly basis. Shipments can be up to 1,000 kilos,” said Bart Kruijsen, director, live animals of Air France Cargo-KLM Cargo. The airline has divided its animal business into five segments. The biggest is horse traffic, which amounts to over 12,000 horses in a year for the combined Air France, KLM and Martinair fleets.

“This market has been affected by the downturn last year, but not much. There are still a lot of competitions going on, and a lot of import and export for breeding,” Kruijsen remarked.

Years ago cattle used to be flown as well for breeding purposes, but this traffic has all but disappeared as breeders increasingly took to sending frozen bull sperm instead. Horses and pigs, on the other hand, are still sent around the world for breeding.

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