Air-Freighting Animals: A Most Lucrative Game

Transporting animals is a lucrative business for air carriers
2000: The first year FedEx started transporting pandas from Chengdu to Washington ImagineChina/Corbis

An African white rhinoceros peers through the bars of its Frankfurt compound, while across the floor a Madagascan chameleon inches around its vivarium and an Andean alpaca plucks hay from a bale. It’s not a scene from the city’s zoo but Deutsche Lufthansa’s Animal Lounge, a state-of-the-art complex at the center of the German airline’s plans to dominate one of the most specialized parts of the $66 billion air-cargo industry.

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