FedEx Express (Memphis) is donating its logistical services to transport two giant pandas from the United States to China on February 4, 2010. Working in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and Zoo Atlanta, FedEx Express will fly the pandas non-stop from Washington’s Dulles International Airport to Chengdu, China.
Tai Shan, a 4-and-a-half-year-old male panda born at the National Zoo, and Mei Lan, a 3-year-old female panda born at Zoo Atlanta, will travel onboard a custom-decaled FedEx Express 777 Freighter (777F) – known as the “FedEx Panda Express.”
FedEx Express will fly Mei Lan from Atlanta to Washington, D.C., where she will join Tai Shan in preparation for the trans-Atlantic flight. Onboard the 777F aircraft – which is solely dedicated to the pandas’ journey – Tai Shan and Mei Lan will travel in two custom-built transport containers provided by FedEx Express. The pandas will depart Washington, D.C. late morning on February 4 and arrive in Chengdu late afternoon on February 5, approximately 14 ½ hours between take-off and landing.
Boeing 777-FS2 N850FD (msn 37721) has been selected as the aircraft to wear the special “Panda Express” markings.