Although InstoneAir is best known for the transportation of bloodstock and livestock, the Company is also actively involved in various other aspects of the aviation industry. The services we provide can be divided into several categories:


  • Provision of a full range of horse stalls for both narrow-bodied and wide-bodied aircraft, for scheduled services and charters. Equipment can be purchased, rented on a per use basis or leased for long periods.
  • General sales agents representing various airlines and acting as bloodstock marketing office for both scheduled and charter services.
  • Bloodstock charter brokers supplying range of charter aircraft equipped with InstoneAir stalls.
  • Design and construction of ancillary loading equipment, such as loading ramps, animal quarantine inspection pens, dolly ramps, loading corrals, etc. Design and construction of cattle pens and livestock containers.
  • Consultants, developing a complete system for airlines not familiar with the transportation of livestock, transport of zoo animals and exotics, including provision of crates/pens.
  • Provision of fully qualified grooms and loadmasters for livestock flights.
  • Freight charter brokers actively involved in providing suitable charter aircraft throughout the world, at competitive prices.
  • Quarantine premises designers. Design, construction and operation of Border Inspection Posts, such as that in use at Stansted Airport.

GSA (General Sales Agent)

InstoneAir represents a number of airlines and acts as bloodstock GSA. We handle all sales, logistics and provide complete operational support. Our responsibilities can include:

  • Providing horse containers
  • Container maintenance and repairs
  • Container tracking, positioning and cleaning
  • Sales and marketing
  • Liaison with shippers
  • Applying for transit permits
  • Ensuring export documentation is in order
  • Arranging groom tickets / hotels / positioning
  • Monitoring international health protocols and quarantine regulations
  • Provision of fully qualified flying grooms
  • Market research, statistics and forecasts


InstoneAir staff assist with the loading and despatch of every shipment and in the case of charters, InstoneAir loadmasters travel on the aircraft. The loadmaster is also a qualified groom.

We have GSA or marketing arrangements or provide containers to many of the leading freighter and combi operators. Our ‘Airstable’ range has been used on a contract or ad hoc basis for both scheduled services and charters with a large number of airlines, including:
Air Canada, Air China Cargo, Air New Zealand, Air Transport International, ANA, Atlas, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, DHL, DXB Airwing, Emirates, EVA, Fedex, Lufthansa, Malaysian, Martinair, MNG, NCA, Polar, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Saudia, Singapore Airlines, ULS and many others.

Horse Scheduled Services

InstoneAir provides a comprehensive worldwide service, using regular scheduled cargo carriers.

On scheduled service B747 / B777 / MD11 aircraft, the self-contained InstoneAir Airstable is used, being recognised as the best available for scheduled service flights. It allows the horse to travel comfortably and safely and to arrive unstressed.

Detailed quotes can be supplied promptly, together with schedules.

  • Once a scheduled service booking is confirmed, InstoneAir allocates the appropriate Airstable and the service department checks to ensure it is in good condition.
  • The stall is cleaned and disinfected and on most flights, an InstoneAir representative is on hand to assist with the loading of the horses and operation of the container.
  • All the Airstables are tracked by InstoneAir and are checked at each destination before being (de)positioned to their next destination.
  • Where possible, Airstables are deployed to airports where return loads can be obtained, minimising the number of containers that are (de)positioned empty.

Horse Charters

Once a charter is booked, InstoneAir follows a set procedure to ensure all the requirements are carried out and logistics are co-ordinated:

  • types of horses are checked ie. are they thoroughbreds, show jumpers, eventers, horses in training, yearlings, polo ponies etc. Different size and types of horses have varying travel or space requirements.
  • after discussions with the shipper the correct type of stall is allocated – quads; triples; doubles  etc
  • an InstoneAir loadmaster is assigned to the charter.
  • ground handling facilities are checked. Availability of hi-loader (main deck or belly loader); loading ramps (if a walk-on system is being used); availability of fork lifts; cleaning equipment etc. is established.
  • relevant Department of Agriculture regulations are checked in country of origin and destination. Do aircraft / horse stalls need disinfecting and is an agriculture department cleaning certificate required?
  • protective materials ordered – polythene / cellotex / soft board / Skymat.
  • equipment is positioned to the departure airport.
  • grooms are assigned if not provided by shipper; we provide up to 17 on a B747 from a pool of professional flying grooms. These grooms are trained and familiar with airline procedures and the special requirements of animals while in flight.

Quarantine Premises

InstoneAir designed and constructed the Stansted Airport Border Inspection Post (Stansted BIP).

This facility is used to inspect live animals and animal products on entry into the EU from non EU countries.

The project included close liaison with BAA / DEFRA / EU Commission and it took some 3 years from conception to completion. The company is now highly familiar with the complex design requirements and EU regulations.

The invaluable experience gained running this project is now available to others wishing to construct similar facilities and InstoneAir can act as consultants.



Loadmasters / Grooms

An essential element of bloodstock transport is groom expertise and experience. InstoneAir can provide highly experienced, professional, fully trained, flying grooms, although these are usually provided by the shipping agent. All grooms are certified by ATA or hold a NVQ qualification and a certificate of competence issued by UK agriculture department DEFRA.

InstoneAir loadmasters travel on every charter flight. They are responsible for all or some of the following:

  • Pre-flight load planning
  • Assembling the horse stalls
  • Ensuring the horse stalls are secured to the aircraft pallets
  • Loading the horses into the stalls
  • Feed / watering / inspection during flight
  • Monitoring temperature / humidity during flight
  • Offload of horses / stalls
  • Dismantling of the stalls
  • Disinfection and stall cleaning
  • The palletisation of the stalls or the re-installation of the stalls in the aircraft, whichever is required
  • Reporting any stall damage to the UK maintenance base
  • Liaison with the shipping agent / exporter
  • Reporting to the InstoneAir Operations Centre


InstoneAir is able to provide comprehensive advice and recommendations to airlines unfamiliar with transporting animals or with companies requiring consultancy for specific projects.

  • We suggest the most suitable type of stall for a particular aircraft and route: for example, they could be
    rigid non-collapsible, partially collapsible or fully collapsible for charters
  • We are able to complete market analysis, cost evaluation and revenue projections for a specific route
  • We advise on stocking densities, temperature control, groom numbers, loading methods, tranquilliser regulations, transit permit requirements and make sure all IATA, CITES, government and agricultural regulations are adhered to
  • We suggest the most effective ground handling procedures: unloading method, ‘walk-on/off’ using ramps or lifted by high-loader
  • We recommend the most appropriate airports to use and the most efficient handling companies. Some airports and handling companies are better-equipped to handle livestock than others

Freight Charter Brokers

Although primarily known for bloodstock transport the company also has a very active general cargo charter department, often having return availability after a livestock charter. The InstoneAir charter department has many years of experience and a thorough knowledge of airlines throughout the world.

Our database holds details on thousands of the world’s airlines and freighter aircraft, enabling us to source the most appropriate aircraft to fulfil your specific needs – at the most cost effective price. We offer custom made solutions to all your charter problems and can offer a diverse range of aircraft from a Cessna Caravan to the giant 120 ton capacity Antonov 124.

The types of charters arranged include:

  • Livestock
  • Urgent shipments – oil field parts – ships spares – production line components
  • Outsize cargo – off line or too big or heavy for scheduled flights
  • Hazardous – cargo aircraft only
  • Relief supplies – humanitarian aid – generators
  • Perishables
  • Bands on tour
  • Sub-service, supplemental aircraft, contract flying or long term leases

We handle all aspects of a cargo charter. This includes:-

  • providing the aircraft
  • arranging aircraft and cargo handling
  • traffic rights
  • fuel and road transport
  • organising crew transport / hotels

Nothing is left to chance. We provide the most suitable aircraft for the job, at a realistic price.

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