HONG KONG: The miniature long-haired dachshund from Hong Kong has become an online sensation, after a video of the dog travelling in business class on a flight went viral, according to a report in the South China Morning Post (SCMP).
In the video, Fifi is seen snuggled under blankets on the flight from Hong Kong to Istanbul.
The dog’s owner, Helen Rosalie, said Fifi was “calm and collected” throughout the 11-hour journey.
Rosalie, a Briton, adopted Fifi when the dog was a one-year-old.
Fifi may have been comfortable and well-rested during its luxurious flight, but some netizens were not.
They took issue with Rosalie’s travel arrangements and her posts about how she treats Fifi as if it were her daughter.
“It seems a bit sad that you’d prefer to spend tens of thousands on a dog and call it your daughter, when there are thousands of children in care homes that could become a real daughter,” one person wrote.
Another netizen said the video was “hard for me to see”, because the money spent on Fifi’s travel could have fed starving children and saved lives.
However, not everyone is complaining.
The business is booming for those who cater to pet travel services.
A 2021 global market valued at US$782.4mil (RM3.5bil), is now forecast to reach US$1.3bil by 2031, SCMP reported.
A growing trend within the sector is for people to share a jet.
Pet owners who want to travel with their furry friends charter a private plane and share the costs with other like-minded people.
Olga Naudot, founder of Hong Kong-based private aviation company, Top Stars Air, said chartering a private jet with one’s pet is not just for the rich and famous.
She said more people have turned to private planes due to the high cost of commercial flights, which soared during the pandemic.
For example, a chartered private plane from Hong Kong to Singapore costs around US$60,000 (RM269,000)for eight people.
Another reason is that commercial flights tend to have restrictions on large dogs and certain breeds. — The Straits Times/ANN