The Top 10 Strangest Air Cargo Requests Ever Made

Flex Air Charters Aircraft

Working in the air charter industry can be a strange and interesting field. With odd amenities, bizarre customizations and unusual cargo requests it’s no wonder. We review the top 10 most unusual cargo requests to date below. Who knows, maybe on your next jet charter, you can say you’ve found another one to enter onto our list.

  • 1. The World's Heaviest Woman

    The former world’s heaviest woman, Eman Ahmed, once took a chartered cargo flight from Egypt to Mumbai. At the time of the flight she weighed around 1100 lbs (500 kg).

  • 2. Wild Lions

    In an effort toward wildlife conservation, seven wild lions from South Africa were transported via a air charter evacuation flight to Rwanda after the country’s 1994 civil war. The big cats traveled nearly 2,500 miles, predominantly by air, in an Antonov An-26.

  • 3. Manatees

    Three manatees were transported in open top crates on a 2013 heavy cargo charter. The manatees were being transferred to a Florida aquarium exhibit and were accompanied by an zoo animal care specialist.

  • 4. Human Organs

    An assortment of human organs have been flown on thousands of private jet charters including kidneys, lungs, eyeballs, corneas, hearts and bone marrow. While these seem odd, emergency response charters are conducted every day for those in need of urgent medical attention.

  • 5. Live Fish

    Over 80 million aquatic organisms are shipped every year include live eels, sharks, hundreds of lobsters, and a plethora of other exotic fish. Specialty charters are often scheduled for this type of transfer or a personal on-board courier is hired to carry the tanks needed to transport this colorful live cargo.

  • 6. Tomato Ketchup

    Restaurant chains often need new supplies and fast which is why an undisclosed fast food restaurant chartered a Boeing 747 urgent cargo charter to fly 90 tons of tomato ketchup across the US.

  • 7. Sand

    13 tons of sand was once transported on a An-12 to none other than Egypt! This shipment was a specialty charter for a glass company in the home of the Sphinx. The sand, apparently was of a different kind than that of the Great Sand Sea.

  • 8. Giant Pandas

    In 2010, Tai Shan and Mei Lan were transported by FedEx to China from the United States for global conservation efforts in China. Animal care experts were employed to accompany these majestic beasts on their journey aboard the 777F aircraft.

  • 9. Poisonous Snakes

    While this may seem like a scary scenario all snakes transported on air cargo charters are secured in bags, tied, placed in a styrofoam container then placed in a wooden crate to ensure none of these slithering creatures get loose on the aircraft.

  • 10. Baggage Handlers

    Yes, even humans have been stowaways on board flights, by accident. Although this is an extremely rare occurrence, sometimes when a shipment is made baggage handlers have gotten on board to load and have gotten stuck behind crates or other heavy cargo. Fortunately, cargo holds are climate controlled which results in a non-harmful flight aboard a charter aircraft.

No matter what your next air cargo request is, trust the professionals at Flex Air Charters to handle every aspect of the flight with safety, discretion and your specific cargo needs in mind.