Pets By Air Napier
The Covid-19 lockdown impacted some breeders of dogs and cats in both islands by limiting their ability to transport puppies and kittens to new owners due to the lack of scheduled flights. Air Napier, the airline based at Hawke’s Bay Airport and normally providing passenger and freight services to communities on the east coast of the North Island and charter flights to other centres, stepped up and offered the breeders the opportunity to move puppies by air using a twin-engined aircraft dedicated to pet transport. “Breeders came to us during lockdown and explained the challenge they faced in delivering new pets to their new homes and to be united with their new families. “At Air Napier we saw this as both a business opportunity and a practical way of helping families longing for their new pets”, said Shah Aslam, the Chief Executive Officer at Air Napier.
Out of lockdown, scheduled flights are still not yet back to their pre-Covid level. Air Napier continues to offer pet breeders the opportunity to use another flight between from Gisborne, to Napier, Palmerston North and Christchurch on Saturday 1 August to move pets between the islands and regions. “Our flights aim to minimise the time pets spend in their cages in transit. Anyone interested in using the service should contact us through the Air Napier website, www.airnapier.co.nz , to explore what might be available. Each flight can take up to 15 pets in individual PP40 cages, which the owners have to provide, but the service operates on a first in first served basis.” Aslam said.
Those that have had new pets delivered to them in Christchurch during lockdown appreciated the ease of taking delivery of their pet at the airport. Those sending the animals also found the process easy and quick with little stress on the pet. As far as Air Napier knows, this is the first of it’s kind in New Zealand. Exclusive pet flights just for them.
Having heard of Air Napier’s pet flights, breeders of birds and even tropical fish enquired if their pets could also be moved! “At this stage we will concentrate on just cats and dogs in their separate cages!, sometimes you need to pivot within limits”, quipped Aslam.