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17 July 2015

The history of falconry goes way back, with mankind using these majestic birds to hunt for centuries. Though popular across the globe, falconry is a crucial part of Middle Eastern culture, be it as a hobby to those living in the cities, or for food, as with the Bedouin tribes in the area. The birds themselves can cost between USD$20,000 and USD$250,000, so it isn’t a cheap hobby to those who choose it as such, but there are plenty of shops selling the birds, as well as hoods and other pieces falconry paraphernalia across the Middle East. Also, whereas many hobbyists head into the desert in their 4x4s and train with modern tools such as drones, Bedouin tribes are far more traditional in their approach utilising generations’ worth of experience to help train their birds.

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However, within the hobbyists there is another subset of falconer, who, from September to February every year, head into the wilderness on falconry trips aboard chartered aircraft. Only the richest inhabitants, the Kings, Princes and Sheikhs can afford these lavish trips to destinations such as Morocco, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Mongolia and western China and it is a wonder to behold. Whilst the VIPs themselves head out in their private jets once everything is set up, their staff and falcons have a very different journey. They head out a few days earlier aboard chartered commercial jets, with sheeting to protect the seats and perches for the birds. Their minders travel with them, to see to their needs throughout the journey and below them in the hold is all the equipment needed for setting up and maintaining the camps. Chartering these commercial airlines can cost the owners thousands, with a trip from Saudi Arabia to Morocco and back costing approximately USD$265,000 for an Airbus A319, but the comfort and safety of their birds is worth it.

So, if you are looking to charter, be it on a falconry trip or otherwise, we can offer charter solutions for practically any request. Why not take a look at our aircraft guide and see how we can help you.

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