Air Canada’s special cargo flight makes it paw-ssible for pets stranded by pandemic to fly home to Australia
Nov 01, 2020

Earlier this month, some furry family members finally got to travel home to Australia on the wings of Air Canada after being separated from their owners for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A special charter flight organized by WorldWide Animal Travel, a fully accredited global pet relocation service company that specializes in arranging air transportation for pets, saw close to 70 cats and dogs make the trip home aboard one of Air Canada’s converted Boeing 777-300 aircraft. Each animal received a health check and was cleared for travel by WWAT’s veterinarian.

Prior to the flight, the pets were brought to Air Canada Cargo’s Vancouver facility, just next door to WorldWide Animal Travel, where cargo staff carefully ensured each container was secured in preparation for boarding, taking care to allow for maximum ventilation.

Dubbed “Noah’s Plane” by some in Australia, Air Canada’s flight AC7219 departed Vancouver on Nov. 5 bound for Melbourne, arriving early Saturday morning. As per normal IATA approved protocols, the animals travelled in individual, approved and appropriately sized carriers that were properly secured in the aircraft’s temperature-controlled and pressurize cargo hold as per Transport Canada requirements.

Once in Melbourne, the pets underwent a mandatory 10-day quarantine from Australian authorities. The Post Entry Quarantine facility in Melbourne reported that all the animals were doing well upon arrival and thanked Air Canada for taking good care of the pets for the Australian families.

Air Canada Cargo is accredited by IATA for the safe transport of live animals (CEIV Live Animal certified carrier) and regularly transports animals between Canada and Australia which are some of the airline’s longest flights.  Last year, Air Canada Cargo transported more than 5,800 animals globally, with the vast majority being pet dogs and cats, including close to 700 pets between Australia and Canada.