World Air Logistics and Worldlink Shipping – both members of the WCA Projects network – have worked together to coordinate the transport of an elephant from Colombo, Sri Lanka to Chiang Mai, Thailand on an IL-76 charter flight.

World Air Logistics - 2023

The elephant, Sak Surin, which weighed in at 3.7 tonnes, was transported inside a specially designed cage measuring 6.15 m long, 2.15 m wide and 3.15 m high.

The transport required thorough planning and coordination to ensure the safety and comfort of Sak Surin during the journey, said the two WCA Projects network members.

The ready-for-carriage time for general cargo is usually six hours prior to the estimated time of departure, explained World Air Logistics and Worldlink Shipping. However, given the unique requirements of transporting a live elephant, the team were able to shorten the ready-for-carriage time to just three and a half hours.

Thai freight forwarder World Air Logistics was responsible for chartering the aircraft to accommodate the elephant and arranging veterinary experts to accompany Sak Surin during the flight, coordinating closely with the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

WCA Members return Elephant to Thailand

Sri Lankan logistics company Worldlink Shipping also worked closely with the Thai Embassy and a local trucking company to facilitate the transport of Sak Surin from Dehiwala Zoo to Bandaranaike International Airport, while also arranging Customs clearance and all access operations at the airport.

Sak Surin was initially gifted by Thailand to Sri Lanka. His return to Thailand ends a 22-year long trip overseas.

If confirmed, this project could potentially secure a Guinness World Record for the largest elephant transported by aircraft.