Tenth anniversary of the Lufthansa’s Frankfurt Animal Lounge

In ten years, more than a billion animals hosted at Lufthansa Cargo’s Frankfurt Animal Lounge

Ten years ago, Europe’s largest animal lounge opened its doors at Frankfurt Airport for the first time. Since then, Lufthansa Cargo has operated one of the world’s biggest and most advanced animal stations at its hub in the heart of Europe, offering animal guests a unique service.

“Special thanks are due to our customers, who have remained loyal to us for many years,” said Sören Stark, Board Member Operations and COO of Lufthansa Cargo. “Our highly trained employees, who provide for our animal guests every day, with an incredible amount of dedication, passion and experience, are crucial to the excellent reputation of the Frankfurt Animal Lounge,” he continued.

More than a billion animals of all sorts have been hosted over the years. The most frequent visitors include ornamental fish, with some 80 million of these passing through each year. Jörg Bodenröder, Senior Director of Handling Specials at Lufthansa Cargo, gave an overview of the history of the Animal Lounge and the development of animal transport by air at Lufthansa: “Many exotic species have already flown with us. From giraffes and hippopotamuses, through to Mesopotamian fallow deer, Lufthansa has reliably risen to every logistical challenge to date. Of course, special memories include famous guests such as the two pandas, Meng Meng and Jiao Qing, sent by China’s President Xi Jingping to German Chancellor Angela Merkel as special animal envoys in 2017.”

The Animal Lounge is particularly well equipped for horses. 42 large animal stalls with up to 301 square feet of space are available on the ground for the some 2,000 stallions that pass through annually, while new, premium-quality horse containers are used inflight. Lufthansa’s cargo division has more than 30 years of experience in the handling of these types of animals. The premium partnership with the German Equestrian Federation (FN) emphasizes Lufthansa Cargo’s special expertise in transporting sports, breeding and leisure horses.

Further, cats and dogs, some 15,000 annually, are regular visitors and 39 small animal boxes are available for them. Three separate quiet zones for cats give them space to retreat. With the “Pet Premium” program, Lufthansa Cargo offers pets and their owners a very special service: as soon as a little visitor has made itself comfortable in the Animal Lounge in Frankfurt, photos will be sent to the owners, reassuring of how well their pets are being looked after. There is also always someone available to speak with an owner if needed. If animals require medicine, special food or the like, these special requests can also be accommodated.

The Frankfurt Animal Lounge combines all areas – handling, animal coordination and veterinary services – under one roof over approx. 43,055 square feet. 50 employees and qualified animal caretakers ensure round the clock care. During the design stage, special attention was paid to making the animals’ stay as pleasant as possible: the entire facility is equipped with a non-slip asphalt floor which is more comfortable for animals and people than a conventional concrete surface. All of the loading area is weather protected. The animal station is divided into export, import and transit areas, all physically separated from each other, to avoid any contact between animals being exported and imported. The individual areas can, in turn, be subdivided into multiple zones to prevent certain animals from seeing or hearing each other if necessary. Ornamental fish can be examined under black light and specialists are available in the case of an emergency. Besides this, 18 individually temperature-adjustable, climate-controlled chambers are available for all kinds of species and there exist four special aviaries for birds of all types. Additionally, people accompanying the animals have access to their own washroom in the Lufthansa Animal Lounge.

Lufthansa Cargo AG
Lufthansa Cargo ranks among the world’s leading air freight carriers. In the 2017 business year, the airline transported around 1.6 million tonnes of freight and mail and sold 8.9 billion revenue tonne-kilometres. The company currently employs about 4,500 people worldwide. Lufthansa Cargo focuses on the airport-to-airport business. The cargo carrier serves around 300 destinations in more than 100 countries with its own fleet of freighters, the belly capacities of passenger aircraft operated by Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Eurowings, and an extensive road feeder service network. The bulk of the cargo business is routed through Frankfurt Airport. Lufthansa Cargo is a wholly owned Lufthansa subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
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