Sunday, July 21, 2024
dnata ensures smooth and safe journeys for animal passengers in Brussels

dnata ensures smooth and safe journeys for animal passengers in Brussels

dnata, a leading global air and travel services provider, has ensured the safe transportation of over 6500 animals through its advanced Animal Care and Inspection Centre at Brussels Airport (BRU) throughout 2023-24.

The Animal Care & Inspection Centre (ACIC), a leading 2000m² facility, is dedicated to the safe handling of live animals at BRU. The facility was awarded the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) for its industry-leading live animal handling processes, in 2022.


Stef van Binst, Managing Director, dnata Belgium, said: “We are proud to provide globally recognised, safe and reliable live animal handling services at Brussels, consistently delivering best-in-class services to our customers and owners who are naturally anxious of their pet’s wellbeing while travelling. In close cooperation with our partners and authorities, we will continue to invest in our operations and world-class facilities to ensure travel comfort for our animal guests.”

Pet welfare is top priority

As household pets arrive into the ACIC for export six to eight hours ahead of planned departure, dnata’s team of handlers begin preparations for the animal’s safe transportation. Highly trained professionals meticulously review paperwork, including proof of any required vaccinations based on the destination and animal type, before completing an IATA check list and performing all security checks. The pet will then be invited into the comfortable ACIC stays with adjustable temperature and light controls to ensure its comfort. Dogs will be regularly walked throughout their time in the special export garden, including immediately before departure to the aircraft. Cats will provided with a litter box in their stay while awaiting departure. A vet will be on hand if any animal shows symptoms of distress, and members of the team will remain with the pets until loading into the aircraft is complete.


dnata’s top animal handling team is highly trained to ensure the comfort and safety of all animals, including domestic pets. All staff are fully educated and updated in IATA’s Live Animals Regulations (LAR), the essential standard to transport animals in a safe and humane manner, and which is applied to all shipments.

Along with permits to drive various airside vehicles, staff are trained to build up crates or boxes for larger animals, depending on the type of aircraft and the airline customer’s requirements.

Complying with regulations

Working alongside Brussels Airport and the local Federal Agency for Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC), dnata’s team diligently follows all regulations including implementing the two-hour transit time limit between ACIC and aircraft to ensure imported pets remain calm and comfortable.

Dogs are predictably the most popular pet to be handled at dnata’s ACIC facility, with over 1000 canines safely passing through in 2023-24, more than half of which were police dogs heading overseas. Pet fish are also very popular visitors, with over 4000 boxes of differing species imported. Tarantula spiders and various reptiles including lizards, snakes, and ghekkos are also delicately handled.

dnata currently provides service excellence at Brussels Airport with a team of 140 highly trained aviation professionals, handling over 100,000 tonnes of cargo annually.

dnata is a leading global air and travel services provider. Established in 1959, the company offers quality and safe ground handling, cargo, travel, catering and retail services in over 30 countries across six continents. In the financial year 2023-24, dnata’s customer-oriented teams handled over 778,000 aircraft turns, moved over 2.9 million tonnes of cargo, uplifted 123 million meals, and recorded a total transaction value (TTV) of travel services of US$ 2.4 billion.

Picture of Anastasiya Simsek

Anastasiya Simsek

Anastasiya Simsek started her journalism career in 2016 at Ukrainian TV-Channels: 24 Channel and 1+1 Media. Having worked across a number of different sectors, including news, medicine and lifestyle, she joined the Air Cargo Week editorial team in 2024. To share your news and exclusive insights, contact


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