It is with a glistening of eyes that Paula Pinto talks about her work. Nine years ago in TAP Cargo, won a huge passion for her service and for the special transport of animals that she helps coordinate.
The last special transport of animals she coordinated was Goolara - Koala named by passengers on board the flight between Dusseldorf and Lisbon - last week, transported from Germany to the Lisbon Zoo.
The process is long and is not limited to the flight. It is necessary, first, to gather all the conditions to be guaranteed the well-being of the animal, realizing what is required for the trip to be done with the utmost comfort and minimal constraints. It is then necessary to understand how to do the transport: in the cabin or in the hold, on chairs or on the floor, if it is necessary to remove chairs and lock places, which is the ideal temperature for the animal and how to guarantee it. There are still special permits you need, particularly of the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC), the airports involved and of the veterinary authorities in the country of destination.
The contribution of the people involved is crucial. The TAP Cargo works in close collaboration with the airport, handling, veterinary services, customs and all external entities necessary for the success of these special transports. In TAP, for example, TAP ME is called, when necessary, to intervene in the cabin, to adapt the space. Also the crews, for whom these moments are certainly special, are involved. About José Anjos, Director of TAP Cargo, Paula Pinto has to say that is "a true animal lover".
In the case of the transport of a turtle to the United States in 2011, the crew has contributed to the success of the venture, giving the idea of warm water bottles and put them in blankets inside the carrier, thus ensuring the maintenance of the temperature necessary to the well-being of the animal on a flight that is long. This was the first special transport of animals by Paula Pinto and has, therefore, a special meaning.
When it is done from Lisbon to another destination, the proximity of all the support structures facilitates the process and reassures those responsible, in particular Paula Pinto, already an expert in carrying this "load" very special. In the case of Goolara, transported to Lisbon, the entire work of adaptation of the cabin and installation of the koala had to be done away from all this comfort, this did not prevent the success of the venture and the charm of the passengers on board.
TAP has flown on board its aircraft a pigmy hippopotamus, a seal, a group of fishing eagles and another of penguins, a tiger of Siberia, three koalas and adax. The TAP Cargo website is available with photos and videos of these events truly special.
"We are talking about animals that are not accustomed to flying on a aircraft, anything can happen." and to ensure that everything goes well, Paula Pinto revises time and time again everything you need, making her not sleep well in the nights before. "After everything happens, is the complete relief and an emotion".
Paula is usually in charge of all animals transported as cargo. She speaks of companion animals also and how sometimes are retained due to some irregularities (such as lack of documentation or loss of connection). On these occasions, Paula treats them as if they were hers and purposely goes to the airport to walk a dog. In the end, they are living beings and therefore there is an additional concern in relation to the rest of the load.
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