Silk Way West Airlines transports 117 yaks from Kyrgyzstan to Azerbaijan

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A consignment of 16 live yaks has been successfully transported from Kyrgyzstan to Azerbaijan by Silk Way West Airlines, a cargo-only carrier based at Baku’s Heydar Aliyev International Airport (GYD) in Azerbaijan.  

The mission was conducted at the request of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Azerbaijan to bolster the yak breeding program in Kalbajar, a region of the country located around 450km from the national capital of Baku. 

The yaks, said to be vital to the agricultural biodiversity of Azerbaijan, traveled over 1,250 miles (2,000 km) aboard one of the airline’s fleet of Boeing 747-400F freighters from Bishkek Manas International Airport (FRU) to Ganja Airport (GNJ) in Azerbaijan.  

To ensure the highest welfare standards, the yaks were accommodated by Silk Way West in custom-designed crates that provided protection from injury and stress. The aircraft was also equipped with advanced ventilation and temperature control systems to maintain an optimal environment throughout the journey.  

Dennis Jarvis / Wikimedia Commons

According to the carrier, this “demonstrates the airline’s firm support of sustainable agricultural development” in its home nation, while the project also aligns with its “broader corporate social responsibility goals, which include supporting environmental sustainability and aiding in the development of local communities”. 

Upon arrival in Ganja, the yaks were carefully transported by truck to their new homes in the lush pastures of Kalbajar. There, they are set to “contribute to local agricultural practices and enhance the genetic diversity of the region’s livestock,” the carrier said. 

“We are honored to support sustainable agriculture and biodiversity through expert handling and transportation of live animals,” said Vugar Mammadov, Vice-President CIS and Central Asia at Silk Way West Airlines. “This collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture underscores our commitment to enhancing local ecosystems and contributing to global sustainability efforts,” he added. 

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Silk Way West is a leading cargo airline in the Caspian and Central Asian region and part of the larger Silk Way group. The carrier operates a fleet of 12 dedicated freighter aircraft comprising five Boeing 747-400Fs, five 747-8Fs, and two 777-200Fs on routes worldwide. 

The carrier claims to have a longstanding history of managing complex live animal shipments. The company’s portfolio of animal transportation over recent years includes various species such as alpacas, kangaroos, dogs, horses, and European bison, which the airline suggests “showcases its extensive capabilities and dedication to animal welfare”. 

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