15.7.09

FLYING PETS

The inaugural Pet Airways flight, the world's first
pet-only airline, took to the skies from an
airport in New York yesterday.

When the carrier launched in the US in April, the response
was so intense the airline's website crashed. "We're
currently having to take bookings manually," Pet
Airways founder Alysa Binder told said at the time.
"The initial response has been phenomenal,
an absolute whirlwind."


Heather Donahue's dog, Vito (above), was one of the first
passengers. The pet planes are converted 19-seater
Beechwood passenger planes leased from Suburban
Air, and the company employs 'pet attendants'
to work onboard. Concerned owners can even track
their animal's flight progress on the internet.


High-flying cats and dogs will travel in an almost
identical fashion to their owners, with online
booking, check-in lounge, main
cabin, meals and toilets.


"We are pet owners ourselves (their dog Zoe with
one of the planes, above), so we totally understand
the market, and that safety and comfort are the
main concerns", explains Ms Binder.


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