Ryan Capperauld was on a connecting flight from Abu Dhabi to Doha on his way back home to Scotland yesterday when he spotted the unusual flyer.
With the falcon blinkered and seemingly calm despite being in an airborne plane, journalist Ryan called the moment something that he “doubts he’ll see again”.
An image shows the falcon sitting in a seat towards the front of the business class section of the plane, seemingly amongst other passengers, whilst perched on the gloved arm of its handler.
Tethered by a short rope, the white-and-brown falcon and its handler seem to be enjoying the row of seats to themselves.
The falcon appears unflustered as it sports a leather hood – often used in falconry to prevent the bird becoming stressed in situations that may frighten it – over its head.
Ryan shared the image to social media yesterday with the caption: “Flying back home and went business between Abu Dhabi and Doha and there was an actual live falcon on my flight.
“Something I doubt I’ll see again!”
The post has since received dozens of likes and comments from users who were left bewildered by the bird’s cameo appearance.
One user wrote: “I loved that about flying back and forth in India, you were never quite sure what you were going to see next! Happy travels.”
Another simply said: “Wow.”
A third however, commented: “Cruelty.”
Another asked “Is it wearing a hat?” to which Ryan explained: “Blinkers mate, in case it goes mental I think.”
This prompted a reply from the user who joked: “Makes sense, I don’t think you would want it kicking off mid-flight.”
Falcons are an important cultural symbol of the United Arab Emirates thanks to their skill and unique personalities.
The bird of prey played a vital role in nomadic Arab life by hunting other birds like bustards and curlews as well as other animals for food.
Whilst this particular bird appears to have opted for a cruise in a plane, falcons in flight are very fast, with the peregrine falcon in particular recording diving speeds of over 200mph.