Cambridge Airport welcomed an unusual arrival last week when an Antonov AN12 belonging to Ukranian company Meridian Airlines landed at the east of England airport. The freight aircraft, which had been chartered by Intradco, one of the world’s leading bloodstock air transportation specialists, arrived from Nimes in France with eight horses and associated grooms.
Cambridge Airport regularly welcomes race horses on their way to the renowned Newmarket racecourse, but this is the first time long distance endurance horses have arrived, and on such a heavy aircraft. “We are delighted to see charter specialists recognise Cambridge as an entry point for bloodstock from Europe. Our generous runway length of 1,965m/6447ft can support these heavy machines, and our ground staff are familiar with handling these very specific types of charters, so we are well positioned to take care of the unique charter requirements,” commented Archie Garden, Airport Director at Cambridge. “We regularly welcome horses, from within the European region and are seeing a growing number of bloodstock specialists using the airport. We are also exploring options for implementing the Pet Passport scheme so we can take cats, dogs and ferrets,” he added. The AN12 spent two days at Cambridge before its next charter where it headed for Prague in the Czech Republic.