In an extraordinary feat of logistics and collaboration, World Air Logistics and Worldlink Shipping have successfully transported "Sak Surin" (Muthu Raja), an elephant, from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Chiang Mai, Thailand, via a charter flight on July 2nd, 2023. This landmark project involved flying the elephant inside a specially designed cage aboard an IL-76 aircraft. If confirmed, this remarkable mission could potentially secure a Guinness World Record for the largest elephant transported by airplane.
Transporting live animals by air requires meticulous planning and careful execution. One of the primary challenges faced by the teams involved was the logistics of handling a live animal of such immense size. “Sak Surin”, weighing a staggering 3,720 kilograms, was housed within a specially designed cage measuring an impressive L6.15 m x W2.15m x H3.15m and weighing 4,000 kilograms. This required meticulous planning and coordination to ensure the utmost safety and comfort for “Sak Surin” throughout the journey. Ordinarily, the ready-for-carriage time for general cargo is 6 hours prior to the estimated time of departure (ETD). However, given the unique circumstances of transporting a huge live elephant, with great support from the carrier, the team could significantly shorten the ready-for-carriage time to 3 and a half hours.
World Air Logistics, Thailand, played a crucially important role in sorting out an aircraft capable of accommodating the elephant's cage, as well as arranging for veterinary experts and mahouts to accompany the elephant during the flight. The collaboration extended to close coordination with the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, and Worldlink Shipping Colombo to plan the entire operation meticulously. Worldlink Shipping Colombo worked closely with the Thai Embassy and a local truck company to facilitate the seamless transportation of Sak Surin from Dehiwala Zoo to Bandaranaike International Airport while ensuring smooth customs clearance and all operation access into the airside.
The successful execution of this ambitious project underscores the expertise and dedication of World Air Logistics and Worldlink Shipping Colombo. Our unwavering commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of the elephant, combined with the efficient coordination between all stakeholders, contributed to the overall success of this endeavor.
As the world eagerly awaits confirmation from the Guinness World Records, the collective achievement of World Air Logistics, Worldlink Shipping Colombo, and our collaborators marks a significant milestone in the realm of animal transportation. This historic elephant flight not only exemplifies the incredible potential of aviation logistics but also highlights the importance of international cooperation and expertise in handling complex, high-stakes operations.
World Air Logistics Co., Ltd.
Worldlink Shipping Colombo (Pvt) Ltd.