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Thu 24 Nov 2016 01:51 PM

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Etihad Cargo says 72 racehorses flown from England to Kuwait

$45m cargo transported to the Gulf for winter training as European racing season ends

Etihad Cargo says 72 racehorses flown from England to Kuwait
(Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Etihad Cargo, the freight division of Etihad Airways, has announced it has completed the task of transporting more than 70 elite racehorses from England to Kuwait on a single flight after the European racing season.

A total of 72 racehorses, worth a combined £36 million ($45 million), were transported from London Stansted Airport to Kuwait City, where they will spend the winter months training and racing in the temperate Middle Eastern climate, the airline said in a statement.

They were flown on one of the carrier’s Boeing 777 freighters which are equipped with comfortable seating for up to nine grooms and can accommodate up to 75 horses at a time, it said.

David Kerr, senior vice president of Etihad Cargo, said: "Safety is the most important thing for our equine customers, which is why it is imperative we offer a safe and reliable service on all of our shipments.

"The Middle East has strong ties to these magnificent creatures dating back thousands of years and, to this day, they are arguably the most precious cargo we carry," he said.

He said the airline has transported more than 1,200 horses so far in 2016, with several more large shipments scheduled before the end of the year.

Etihad Cargo operates a fleet of nine wide-body freighters, five Boeing 777Fs and four Airbus A330Fs, which can be configured to carry 75 and 30 horses respectively.

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