SAS Cargo transports pandas to new home in Copenhagen

The pandas departing Beijing

SAS Cargo has transported two giant pandas from China to Denmark, where they will live at a new zoo in Copenhagen.

The two pandas, Mao Sun and Xing Er, traveled in two separate, customised boxes in the forward compartment of flight SK996 – which was named “Panda2” for the journey – from Beijing to Copenhagen.

The Airbus A340 aircraft was specially decorated for the occasion with images and names of the two pandas. 

“Panda2” arrived on time at the Vilhelm Lauritzen terminal in Copenhagen where media waited together with a reception committee of ministers, ambassadors and other VIP invitees.

Speeches were held while Mao Sung and Xing Er were moved from the aircraft to the specially decorated truck that took them the final stretch to Copenhagen Zoo.

The pandas are a gesture of goodwill from the president of China, Xi Jinping, following Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark’s state visit to China in 2014.

“All went very well, and the two pandas are now happily resting and eating in their new home at Copenhagen Zoo, ready to receive keen visitors when the Zoo officially opens on April 11.

“It was a great pleasure and honor to be part of this very prestigious transport. We have a long experience in transporting live animals and sensitive shipments, but this was of course a very special event with such dignitaries onboard,” said Leif Rasmussen, president and chief executive, SAS Cargo Group.

Copenhagen Zoo vice director and director of research and conservation Bengt Holst said: “It was a fantastic journey to plan and execute together with SAS Cargo. We could fully rely on their expertise, network and carefully selected partners in making sure Mao Sun and Xing Er got best possible care during the entire transport from Chengdu to Copenhagen.

“We felt that SAS Cargo listened and understood exactly what we needed to secure a safe transport with all vital elements taken into consideration.”

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