Qatar Airways has said it has responded to demand from passengers seeking to transport their pets around the world by reducing prices to the “lowest rates ever" into and out of Doha.
In a statement, the airline said it has also more than doubled the weight allowance for domestic pets to travel on the same flight as their owners as checked-in baggage, by increasing the weight limit for pets and their containers from 32kg to 75kg.
As the only airline that will carry pets as excess baggage to and from Qatar, the Doha-based carrier said it “has gone beyond expectations and reduced the cost of travelling with a pet”.
“While it used to cost pet owners and animal refuges approximately $400 to transport a large dog to Europe or the Americas on another carrier, the same journey will now cost just $300 on Qatar Airways out of Doha,” the statement explained.
The move is “set to position Qatar Airways as the airline of choice for people seeking to transport their pets around the world”, and follows an “increase in demand” from passengers wanting to travel on the same flight as their domestic pets, or from animal refuges relocating stray animals to new homes overseas.
Qatar Airways chief commercial officer Ehab Amin said: “This move to increase weight allowances, while also reducing the fare structure, means that our passengers and their domestic pets can now travel comfortably on the same flight together.
“We are one of the few airlines in the world that accepts domestic pets as checked-in baggage on our passenger aircraft. So, in keeping with our very inclusive culture and our drive to always enhance the customer experience, we are delighted to increase the pet weight limit from 32kg to 75kg, while significantly reducing charges.”
To use the service, customers checking in for a flight need to telephone ahead and make a confirmed booking for their pet to travel with them. After showing the appropriate veterinary certificate to confirm that their pet is healthy and safe for air travel, the animal is delivered to a specially designated area at Hamad International Airport on the day of travel.
Besides transporting domestic pets on passenger flights, the cargo division of Qatar Airways Group regularly uses its freighters to transport valuable show horses, dairy cows and animals for relocation and rescue purposes via its Qatar Airways Live Freighter Service (QR Cargo).
Pets and transport crates heavier than 75kg will be transported “in the safe hands of Qatar Airways Cargo”, the statement points out. These pets travel in a specially equipped animal transport section of the airline’s cargo aircraft. In addition to having “sophisticated animal accommodation facilities, QR Cargo has qualified veterinary and husbandry personnel at its Doha hub”, and husbandry staff members travel on every animal transport flight.
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