Brussels Airlines has announced that it will begin service between Brussels and Accra, Ghana beginning on October 26. The new service will operate 4 times a week (Monday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday) and will be flown by an A330 aircraft, which in my opinion sports one of the best Business Class cabins that you’ll find in Europe!
The details of the new service are as follows:
SN277 will depart Brussels at 11:00a, arriving in Accra at 4:45p
SN278 will depart Accra at 9:40p, arriving in Brussels at 5:25a the following morning.
In addition to this announcement, ‘SN’ has also indicated that they will be increasing service to existing African destinations.
Beginning in September the following changes are set to take place:
Lome, Togo will increase from 2x/week to 4x/week.
Cotonou, Benin will increase from 2x/week to 3x/week.
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso will increase from 2x/week to 3x/week.
Additionally, Brussels will stop flying to Nairobi, Kenya later this year due to the fact that Lufthansa will launch service between Nairobi and Frankfurt on October 27, 2015.
Brussels Airlines has modified their Cargo policy to ban the transport of any hunting trophies aboard their aircraft with immediate effect. This bans covers their entire network.
What makes Brussels’ announcement so important is the fact that they directly serve 20 African destinations. With this newly revised policy the impact should reverberate throughout the continent.
Brussels now joins Lufthansa, South African, Singapore, and Emirates with recent policy announcements that ban the transport of Hunting Trophies, regardless whether they were harvested legally or not.
It is encouraging to see airlines taking on an important role in an attempt to discourage the practice of hunting large African game simply for the purpose of harvesting a trophy. Also encouraging is the fact that these transport bans are going beyond just the ‘obvious’ animals such as Rhino, Elephants, Lions, Tigers, and the like.
With the prevalence of poaching and other questionable hunting ethics, I for one am glad that Airlines are beginning to take an ‘absolute’ position on the matter.
Yesterday I wrote a brief piece regarding some news I was hearing from reliable sources that Lufthansa Cargo had altered their policy on the transport of Hunting Trophies in Africa. This involved a memo that apparently had been issued by LH Cargo’s manager in Johannesburg, South Africa.
After reaching out to my Lufthansa contacts last night, I was pleased to wake up to emails confirming yesterday’s suspicions.
Coming directly from Lufthansa Cargo, it is clear as to what LH’s updated policy is on the transport of Hunting Trophies in Africa:
EFFECTIVE MAY 30, 2015:
‘Lufthansa Cargo has decided not to transport any trophies of the African fauna, e.g. lions, elephants and rhinos, in or out of Africa – including legally hunted or legally acquired trophies.’
No longer is there the technicality regarding CITES policies that allows for export of some trophies if they are legally hunted. As far as my language skills are concerned, I interpret the LH statement as covering a wide range of animals and the trophies will not fly aboard Lufthansa aircraft even if they were ‘taken’ legally.
This topic has been near and dear to me for quite some time and I’m happy to see that LH has joined the ranks of other airlines such as South Africa, Emirates and British Airways who also have policies in place that prevent this kind of transport.
To me, this looks like the beginning of a trend in the airline industry and if enough voices start calling for bans on Trophy transportation, airlines will have no choice but to listen.
Ideally, these policies should become ‘Alliance’ policies where organizations like Star Alliance, Skyteam or OneWorld would require member airlines to adhere to a uniform set of rules when it comes to topics such as this.
It is interesting to note however that Delta came out with a ‘defiant’ statement recently indicating that they will continue to transport hunting trophies in and out of Africa. I wonder how long that lasts…..but I digress…..
For now, enjoy the fact that Lufthansa has listened to our voices and has taken steps necessary to play an important role in this important matter.
Information is beginning to come from several reliable and proven sources that Lufthansa has issued a mandate instructing their African Cargo operations to place a ban on the transport of any African Hunting Trophy aboard LH Aircraft.
This memorandum may have been issued only in the last day or 2 and I am working to confirm additional details. What I understand so far is that the ban is effective immediately and covers any and all hunting trophies that originate in Africa.
With this new policy, LH has joined with South African, Emirates and British Airways in banning ‘Trophy’ cargo. Unfortunately Delta has issued a statement recently affirming that they will continue to allow transit of African Game Trophies aboard their aircraft.
More details as I learn them!
Recently, I posted a piece highlighting the fact that South African Airways has put in place a policy that bans the transport of any large or endangered Wildlife Hunting Trophies aboard their passenger or cargo airplanes.
In addition to SAA, Emirates has now created a policy that takes effect on May 15 that also provides for the ban of Large Trophy Game transport on its aircraft as well.
To this end, I want to bring your attention to Lufthansa’s position on the topic.
I contacted LH Cargo soon after the SAA news to confirm what Lufthansa’s position is on this very important topic. I’m glad to report that LH has policies similar to the aforementioned airlines in place. In fact I think the LH policies may go a bit beyond what SAA has in place. According to the internal memo from SAA it targets only specific animals (Rhino, Elephant, Lion, and Tiger):
This leads me to think that SAA will still allow the transport of other Game not specifically listed in their internal communications.
In an email exchange with my contacts at Lufthansa Cargo, I was able to gain confirmation that Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo do not engage in the transport of Large Trophy Animals or animals protected under CITES 1.
From LH Cargo:
“We definitely do not transport large game trophies and, of course, no trophies for any endangered species, complying with CITES 1 regulations”
Animals that ‘qualify’ under CITES 1 include Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Tiger, Cheetah, Leopard, Zebra, Giraffe and other large game. Based on my interpretation of CITES 1, it provides for a ban on the commercial export or import of Game that is endangered or can potentially be endangered by harvesting. It does not apply to Game that is not at risk, such as Impala, Kudu and other antelope or small game not listed as an at-risk species.
If I interpret the LH statement correctly, it appears that they go beyond what is just required by CITES and may in fact go beyond what SAA and Emirates have put into place since they suggest that they transport NO Large game, not just CITES 1 protected animals.
Personally, I would like to see airlines band together and create a standardized policy that addresses this very sensitive and important topic. If it one day becomes impossible to transport ANY Animal Trophy due to airline policies, we will have made major strides in reducing the amount of senseless murders that take place of defenseless animals.
If game hunters realize that they can’t bring home the carcass of what they senselessly slaughtered while on vacation, perhaps then the animals will have a fighting chance.