Last week KLM Royal Dutch Airlines transported the two-year-old panda Fu Hu to Chengdu in China, aboard a Boeing 747 Combi. After a comfortable flight, the panda was brought to the panda park Bifengxia in Ya’An.
Fu Hu spent some time in the animal hotel at Schiphol, where he received professional attention to prepare him for the ten-hour flight to China. He was transported in a specially designed cage that complies with regulations for the transportation of live animals set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
KLM is specialised in the responsible airborne transportation of animals. KLM is one of the few airlines in the world with its own animal hotel. This facility is fully equipped to care for animals before, during and after their trip. In secluded surroundings, specially trained animal stewards ensure that the animals travel comfortably and safely. The animal hotel is open 24 hours a day. KLM mainly transports race horses, cattle, live insects, pets and aquarium fish.
Fu Hu was born in the world’s oldest zoo, Schönbrunn, in the Austrian capital, Vienna. The name Fu Hu means “Lucky Tiger” in Mandarin. He weighed 100 grams at birth, but has grown a lot in the past two years and now weighs 45 kg.
Fu Hu’s return to China is part of the national breeding programme. A couple of years ago, his elder brother Fu Long made the same trip. Fu Hu will be reunited with his brother at the park.
KLM is the only airline operating direct service between Chengdu and Europe. Together with its partner China Southern, KLM serves eight destinations in Greater China from Amsterdam, offering 54 flights a week.