Chinese Pandas Embark On a Journey of a Lifetime As They Board the “FedEx Panda Express” to the United Kingdom
LONDON, December 3, 2011 – FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, has announced that the specially chartered Boeing 777F flight carrying two giant pandas from Chengdu, China, to their new home in Scotland’s Edinburgh Zoo is ready for departure on 4 December, 2011. Eight year-old female panda Tian Tian (甜甜, aka Sweetie), and eight year-old male panda Yang Guang (阳光, aka Sunshine), are due to depart on the flight known as the “FedEx Panda Express”. The pandas’ arrival marks the first time in more than 17 years that giant pandas will reside in the United Kingdom.
On board the “FedEx Panda Express”, Tian Tian and Yang Guang will be travelling in the utmost comfort in two spacious, custom-built containers that provide a safe environment while allowing them to move around and observe their surroundings through the transparent Plexiglas. Throughout the flight, the pandas will be cared for and closely monitored by a veterinarian and two animal handlers from the Edinburgh Zoo and the Bifengxia Panda Base. FedEx Express personnel will also be on board to ensure that proper conditions are maintained in the aircraft from the moment the plane takes off to when it touches down in Scotland.
Throughout the journey, the pandas will be in the safe hands of seasoned management pilots, all of whom have extensive experience in transporting some of the world’s most precious cargo, ranging from white rhinos to penguins.
“We are delighted to announce that the FedEx Panda Express is now ready for departure and will soon be making its momentous journey to the United Kingdom,” said Gerald P. Leary, president, FedEx Express Europe, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa. “The specially-chartered flight, due to leave in the morning of 4 December, follows months of preparation and planning to ensure the pandas’ travel is safe and comfortable at every stage of their journey.”
One of the world’s most modern and fuel efficient air freighters, the Boeing 777F, has been selected to transport the pandas to make their journey as efficient and pleasant as possible. Not only is the plane equipped with noise reduction technology that will mean Tian Tian and Yang Guang will enjoy a quieter ride; the plane’s fuel efficiency means that the pandas will arrive at their new home in record time, without stopping to refuel.
The journey doesn’t stop there: As the “FedEx Panda Express” touches down in Scotland, the pandas will be welcomed by FedEx Express experts on the ground who will transport them in a uniquely-decaled FedEx Express vehicle to the zoo. The FedEx Express truck will form part of a police escort to ensure maximum safety and security for the VIPs – Very Important Pandas. To follow Tian Tian and Yang Guang’s journey on board the “FedEx Panda Express” visit: http://blog.fedex.com/panda-express.
Extensive b-roll and images will be available on arrival.
FedEx Express Transports Many Unusual Shipments
FedEx Express has a long history of transporting rare and delicate cargo. In February 2010 FedEx Express transported Tai Shan, a male panda born at the National Zoo in Washington DC, US, and Mei Lan, a male panda born at Zoo Atlanta, Georgia, US, back to China. In 2003, FedEx Express transported two giant pandas from China to the Memphis Zoo, Tennessee, US. In 2000, FedEx Express transported Tai Shan’s parents from China to Washington D.C.’s National Zoo.
Exotic cargo transported by FedEx Express has included polar bears, white tigers, elephants, penguins, mountain lions, gorillas, eagles and even a 13-foot tiger shark used in filming the movie “Jaws”.
Other unusual international cargo transported by FedEx Express includes a windmill from Denmark, the Ryder Cup and a vintage Jaguar Le Mans car worth over £1 million.
About FedEx Express
FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date with a money-back guarantee.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $40 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 290,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.
About the Boeing 777 Freighter
The Boeing Company produces a complete line of commercial freighter airplanes, including the 777 Freighter. The Boeing 777 Freighter is the world’s largest and most capable twin-engine freighter. The unsurpassed efficiency and flexibility of the 777 Freighter has resulted in a significant number of customer orders, with FedEx Express as the largest customer. FedEx Express has taken delivery of 14 Boeing 777 Freighters and has orders for 31 more.