Pandas travel to Finland onboard Volga-Dnepr’s freighter

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April 16, 2018: Volga-Dnepr Airlines makes headlines again for yet another contribution towards wildlife preservation project. The Russian-based all cargo airline was called upon to transport giant pandas named ‘Lumi and Pyry’ from China into Ahtari Zoo in Finland.

Mikhail Smirnykh, general director of Volga-Dnepr Airlines commented: “This flight in support of such an important wildlife preservation programme was special for our company so we are delighted to hear that Lumi and Pyry have acclimatised so quickly to their new surroundings.”

The delivery was performed under a joint programme of the People’s Republic of China and Finland aimed at the preservation and study of giant pandas. 

In order to ensure their safety and well being, the pandas were accompanied by one of their keepers and a vet from the Finnish zoo, throughout the journey. To monitor the conditions onboard the aircraft, special measuring equipment was acquired for the flight. One hour before landing, the crew gradually lowered the temperature in the cargo hold to 10°C to help the pandas acclimatise gradually for their arrival in snow-covered Helsinki. Onboard the aircraft, they enjoyed their usual food rations, including chopped bamboo shoots, carrots and apples.

Finland’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, China’s Ambassador to Finland, Ahtari authorities and other distinguished guests were present at the VIP terminal at Helsinki Vantaa Airport to greet the special guests. 

“We use Volga-Dnepr services for multiple projects worldwide because we know their advantages in air charter and scheduled operations. The delicate transportation of animals on this important flight proves that we made the right choice,” said Daniel Hou, manager, StarBroker Asia Pacific, part of DHL Global Forwarding, Volga-Dnepr’s customer for this transportation.

In recent months, Volga-Dnepr Airlines has safely delivered two Southern White Rhinos from the Zoological Center Ramat Gan in Israel to Rostov-on-Don Zoo in Russia, while the Group’s Atran Airlines delivered rare and protected Przhevalsky horses for Orenburgsky National Nature Reserve for a third time as part of a reintroduction programme in Russia’s Ural Steppe.


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