Despite airlines, most recently Delta, reporting net loss for the first quarter of 2009, a new airline is hitting the market. This airline has a specific target: pet owners with sympathy in their hearts and extra cash in their pockets.

Pet Airways is now offering private pet-only flights to and from New York City, Baltimore, Chicago, and Los Angeles in the main cabin of the company’s Beech 1900 aircrafts for an introductory one-way rate of $149.

Here’s how it works: Pet owners drop their pets off at the Pet Airways PAWS Lodge in the airport up to 72 hours before their flight. All animals will be allowed “potty breaks” before takeoff, then they are stored in more spacious and comfortable accommodations than the average cargo hold. Every 15 minutes, a “pet attendant” checks on the animal. Once they arrive at their destination, pets must be picked up at the PAWS Lodge within 24 hours.

Worrisome owners can track their pet via the Internet and will also receive an automated e-mail and text message if their pet’s flight is more than 15 minutes late.

While this may all seem a bit silly, consider this—according to the San Francisco SPCA, roughly 5,000 pets are injured during transit in cargo holds every year.

Source: NBC Chicago