After a moving farewell ceremony in China, KLM transported the two giant pandas Xing Ya and Wen Wu from Chengdu in China to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. This is the fourth time KLM has transported pandas worldwide, but the first time it has flown pandas from China to the Netherlands. The pandas are on their way to the Ouwehands Zoo where a special area was built specially for them. Transporting Xing Ya and Wu Wen not only underscores the good relations between China and the Netherlands, it also highlights the excellent ties between China and KLM. With close to 70 weekly flights between Amsterdam and China operated by KLM and our Chinese partners, we effectively form a bridge between Europe and China.
Following its touchdown and shower of affection, the KLM Boeing-747 combi (KL0892) – boasting the names of both pandas – taxied to the gate, escorted by the panda truck and KLM Panda Bus. The pandas were then transferred to the KLM Animal Hotel where they were shown to specially invited guests and members of the press on completion of the formalities.
During the welcome ceremony, the guests were addressed by Ronald van Roeden (Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Wu Ken (the Chinese Ambassador to the Netherlands), Pieter Elbers (KLM President & CEO) and Marcel Boekhoorn (the owner of Ouwehands Zoo). After the speeches, it was time for everyone to feast their eyes on these amazing animals.
One of the fields that KLM Cargo specialises in is the transportation of a broad range of different types of animals in a caring and sustainable manner. It employs specialised staff members who possess the right knowledge and expertise to accompany and care for the animals in the best possible manner during their journey. KLM is one of the few airlines in the world with its own Animal Hotel at Schiphol. The hotel is fully equipped to take care of the animals before, during and after their travels. In a separate area, specially trained animal stewards make sure that the animals travel comfortably and safely.
KLM broadcast a live Vlog of the pandas arriving on Facebook that can still be viewed there.