The top 5 most unusual cargo items
In 2017, around 855,000 tonnes of cargo were carried from Schiphol to every corner of the world. That’s about the same weight as 3,000 A380 aircraft. This volume makes us the third-largest cargo operator in Europe! What kinds of things are carried in the aircraft? Pretty much everything, really. From bell peppers to helicopters. And with all those types of cargo, there’s bound to be something unusual in there from time to time.
Don’t cry for me Abu Dhabi
The musical Evita went on tour to the United Arab Emirates. A Boeing 777 was filled to the brim with the entire set and all the costumes, after which it took off from Schiphol to the Middle East. While it's not particularly heavy cargo, the set pieces are all quite large. Fitting it all into a single aircraft proved quite a challenge!
Revving the engines
The MotoGP is the Formula 1 of motorcycle racing. It's a giant circus of an event that travels all over the world. All the bikes, spare parts and tools arrived at the airport in a fleet of lorries from the TT Circuit in Assen. Two Boeing 747s were needed to transport all the motorcycles – sealed into crates – to their next race in Japan. It's quite important that everything goes well during these flights, or Valentino Rossi might find himself without a motorcycle to ride on the day of the race.
A horse in midstream... well, on the aircraft
We transport horses every day. These horses aren’t coming from Old MacDonald's farm, either. They’re a little higher up the price scale, such as racehorses, show-jumping horses or dressage horses. Such horses might be flying to an event in Las Vegas or a race in Hong Kong. An aircraft – usually a Boeing 747 or 777 – can fit around 60 or 70 horses. They travel in special stalls, where they also have water and hay. A couple of specialists known as grooms are always on the plane to take care of the horses during the flight.
10 seconds in a Bugatti
In honour of Bugatti's annual grand tour, we shipped seven of these incredibly expensive cars – one will set you back a whopping 1.5 million euros – all the way to Chile. For each of these cars, one lucky person got to take the wheel and drive it onto a special platform. Then, the cars were strapped to the platforms by their tires, and a forklift stacked the platforms and loaded them onto the aircraft.
Did you think a Bugatti was an expensive piece of cargo? How about an aircraft engine? A jet engine for an A380 can run you around 15 million euros, but just like car engines, they do need to be replaced occasionally. The engines take to the skies sealed in an airtight cover with about thirty moisture absorbers. These are necessary because aircraft engines are fairly vulnerable to weather influences, and we don't want them to start corroding.