Next time you’re stuck on a long-haul flight in a packed, economy-class cabin, being ignored by a frazzled flight attendant, spare a thought for the passengers on a recent flight from Melbourne to Chongqing in China. They were cows.
Crated up and loaded onto the main deck of a Boeing Co. 747 cargo plane by hydraulic lift, the 150 beasts were on Australia’s first live cattle flight to central China. Destination: the abattoir. The flights are possible, and profitable, because of China’s soaring demand for fresh beef and regulations that require imported live animals to be slaughtered close to their point of entry. That means that if you want to sell fresh steaks to China’s booming inland cities, like Chongqing, you need a big plane.
On that inaugural flight of animals for slaughter, Angus and Hereford cattle were packed onto the aircraft’s main deck — where you’d sit as an economy passenger — in crates of four or five, Hall said. Upstairs, where business class travelers would sip on champagne on a passenger jet, there was room for a few human escorts.
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Source: Bloomberg Business