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N885FD with “FedEx Panda Express” 2017 special markings transports Bao Bao to China

N885FD with "FedEx Panda Express" 2017 special markings transports Bao Bao to China

Bao Bao (BOW-BOW) the 3 ½ year-old giant panda began her journey to China on the morning on February 21, 2017. She departed the Smithsonian’s National Zoo at 11 a.m. for Dulles International Airport, where she boarded a FedEx Express Boeing 777F plane bound for Chengdu, China. The nonstop flight took about 16 hours. Bao Bao’s departure from the Zoo was broadcast via Facebook Live.

On the morning of February 21, 2017, the panda team arrived at 6:30 a.m. to finalize preparations for Bao Bao’s departure. Bao Bao received her morning diet of 17 pounds (8 kilograms) of bamboo and 5.4 (150 grams) leafeater biscuits and spent time in her outdoor habitat. Already acclimated from daily training, keeper Marty Dearie called Bao Bao back indoors and then into the custom travel crate at approximately 10 a.m. Zoo staff moved the crate onto a specially-decorated forklift which traveled carefully out of the David M. Rubenstein Giant Panda Habitat through the Zoo and was loaded on a FedEx Express truck. Dennis Kelly, director of the Zoo, was joined by Ambassador Cui Tiankai from the People’s Republic of China, Smithsonian Regent and Zoo giant panda conservation program supporter David Rubenstein and animal care staff to say goodbye.

In 2010, FedEx Express transported Bao Bao’s brother Tai Shan from The National Zoo to the China Conservation and Research Center in Chendgdu. FedEx Express also provided the transport for Bao Bao’s parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, from China to the United States in 2000.

The specialized travel crate is made of steel and weighs approximately 800 lbs. Marty Dearie, one of the keepers who has cared for Bao Bao since her birth, and Katharine Hope, veterinarian at the Zoo will make the 8,600-mile trip with her. They continuously monitored Bao Bao during the trip and traveled with a supply of her favorite treats, including 50 pounds of bamboo, 2 pounds apples, 2 bags of leafeater biscuits, cooked sweet potatoes and water.

Upon arrival in Chengdu, Bao Bao’s new keepers from China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda drove her to Dujiangyan Panda Base where she will stay in quarantine for approximately 30 days. The American team will follow, and Dearie will remain with Bao Bao for three days while she acclimates to her new home. It is not confirmed if Bao Bao will remain at Dujiangyan after the quarantine period has ended. Bao Bao will enter the giant panda breeding program when she reaches sexual maturity between 5 and 6 years old.

The panda team prepared Bao Bao for the move to make sure she is comfortable and safe during her journey. To slowly acclimate her to the travel crate, keepers asked Bao Bao to walk through it every day. After she became comfortable doing that, they got her used to spending short periods of time in it with the doors closed.

Bao Bao was born at 5:32 p.m. August 23, 2013, at the Zoo’s David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat. Her name translates to “precious” or “treasure” in Chinese. Both Mrs. Michelle Obama, former first lady of the United States, and Madame Peng Liyuan, first lady of China sent congratulatory messages for her naming ceremony when she was 100 days old. At her first birthday zhuazhou (dra-JO) ceremony, she selected a banner depicting peaches, representing longevity. She is the second surviving cub of her parents Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) and Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN).

Giant pandas are listed as “vulnerable” in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There are an estimated 1,800 in the wild. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is a leader in giant panda conservation. Ever since these charismatic bears arrived at the Zoo in 1972, animal care staff and scientists have studied giant panda biology, behavior, breeding, reproduction, and disease. These experts are also leading ecology studies in giant panda’s native habitat. The Zoo’s giant panda team works closely with colleagues in China to advance conservation efforts around the world. Chinese scientists are working to reintroduce giant pandas to the wild.

Copyright Photo: FedEx Express Boeing 777-FS2 N885FD (msn 41064) (FedEx Panda Express 2017) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 936065.

 

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Porter Airlines’ “Ottawa 2017” promotional livery for Canada’s 150th birthday

Porter Airlines' "Ottawa 2017" promotional livery for Canada's 150th birthday

The Ottawa 2017 Bureau and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are thrilled to welcome Porter Airlines as the Official Canadian Airline for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in the nation’s capital.

“As the nation’s capital, Ottawa will be at the center of celebrations for Canada’s 150th birthday,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “Porter proudly embodies the modernity and founding spirit of Canada, so this partnership is a perfect fit for us.”

Porter will provide flights for artists, contests and promotions, as well as collaborate with Ottawa 2017 on pageantry items at the Ottawa International Airport and other marketing initiatives. Additionally, the airline company will add the Ottawa 2017 logo (below) to the exterior of all of its aircraft and two planes in the Porter fleet will have their tails wrapped with the colourful look of the celebration.

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Canada’s 150th celebrations will offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of exciting experiences while bringing a record number of visitors to Ottawa in 2017 to celebrate this important milestone for our country.

Copyright Photos: Porter Airlines Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) C-GLQB (msn 4130) (Ottawa 2017) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 935182.

Porter Airlines' "Ottawa 2017" promotional livery for Canada's 150th birthday

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Saudia to retire the last Boeing 777-200 by the end of 2017

Boeing 777-200 type to be phased out before the end of 2017

Saudia has announced it will phase-out 5 aircraft from its Boeing 777-200 fleet of 23 aircraft and the remaining 18 aircraft will be phased-out before the end of 2017.

Copyright Photo: Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines) Boeing 777-268 ER HZ-AKA (msn 28344) (SkyTeam) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 908483.

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Avianca salutes the 2016 Summer Olympics Colombia Football Team

Saluting the 2016 Summer Olympics Colombia Football Team

Copyright photo: Avianca (Colombia) Airbus A319-115 N726AV (2016 Summer Olympics Colombia Football Team) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 933881.

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Alaska Airlines to fly between Portland, Oregon and Orlando

Alaska Airlines to fly between Portland, Oregon and Orlando

Alaska Airlines on June 22 announced new, daily nonstop flights between Portland, Oregon, and Orlando, Florida, to begin in March 2017.

The new flight will be the first and only nonstop flight between Portland and Orlando. With the new flying, Alaska will offer 21 weekly nonstop flights from Seattle, Portland and San Diego.

Flights will be operated with fuel-efficient Boeing 737 aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-990 ER SSWL N494AS (msn 41729) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 933379.

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Frontier Airlines to add 42 new routes

"Carl the Coyote"

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) will add new nonstop service in 42 markets throughout the United States. This new service begins in April.

Following is a list of the new markets:

Two new cities from Austin, Texas

Frontier will add nonstop service between Austin and Orlando, Fla. (June 15) and Philadelphia (May 15). Flights to Philadelphia will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays while flights to Orlando will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Two new cities from Charlotte, N.C.

Frontier will add nonstop service between Charlotte and Chicago O’Hare and Orlando (both starting on April 15). Flights will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Four new cities from Cincinnati

Frontier will add nonstop service between Cincinnati and Houston – IAH (April 15), Los Angeles (April 15), Philadelphia (May 13) and San Francisco (April 14). Flights to San Francisco will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays while flights to the other cities will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Four new cities from Cleveland

Frontier will add nonstop service between Cleveland and Los Angeles (April 14); Philadelphia (April 15); Portland, Ore. (April 14) and San Francisco (April 15). Flights to Los Angeles and Portland will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays while flights to the other cities will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Two new cities from Houston – IAH

Frontier will add nonstop service between Houston and Atlanta (April 14) and Cincinnati (April 15). Flights to Atlanta will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays while flights to Cincinnati will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Three new cities from Kansas City, Mo.

Frontier will add nonstop service between Kansas City and Atlanta (April 15), Chicago O’Hare (April 14) and Philadelphia (June 2). Flights to Philadelphia will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays while flights to the other cities will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Three new cities from Milwaukee

Frontier will add nonstop service between Milwaukee and Atlanta (April 15), Dallas/Fort Worth (April 14) and Philadelphia (June 2). Flights to Dallas/Fort Worth and Philadelphia will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays while flights to Atlanta will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Three new cities from Nashville, Tenn.

Frontier will add nonstop service between Nashville and Chicago O’Hare (April 14), Orlando (April 14) and Philadelphia (April 15). Flights to Orlando will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays while flights to the other cities will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Two new cities from New Orleans

Frontier will add nonstop service between New Orleans and Orlando (April 15) and Philadelphia (April 14). Flights to Philadelphia will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays while flights to Orlando will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Four new cities from Phoenix

Frontier will add nonstop service between Phoenix and Atlanta (April 15), Detroit (April 15), Portland, Ore. (June 30) and Seattle/Tacoma (June 29). Flights to Portland will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays while flights to the other cities will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Three new cities from Portland, Oregon

Frontier will add nonstop service between Portland and Chicago O’Hare (April 14), Cleveland (April 14) and Phoenix (June 29). Flights to Cleveland and Phoenix will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays while flights to Chicago O’Hare will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Three new cities from Raleigh/Durham, N.C.

Frontier will add nonstop service between Raleigh/Durham and Atlanta (April 15), Orlando (April 14) and Philadelphia (April 14). Flights to Orlando and Philadelphia will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays while flights to Atlanta will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Two new cities from St. Augustine, Florida

Frontier will add nonstop service between St. Augustine and Chicago O’Hare (April 14) and Philadelphia (April 15). Flights to Chicago will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays while flights to Philadelphia will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Two new cities from Seattle/Tacoma

Frontier will add nonstop service between Seattle/Tacoma and Chicago O’Hare (April 14) and Phoenix (June 29). Flights to Chicago will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays while flights to Phoenix will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Other New Markets

Frontier will also add new nonstops in the following markets not previously mentioned: Atlanta – Memphis (April 14), Indianapolis – Philadelphia (April 14), Minneapolis/St. Paul – Chicago O’Hare (April 15), St. Louis – Atlanta (April 14), Dallas-Fort Worth – Orlando (April 16) and San Francisco – Atlanta (April 15).

Resumption of Seasonal Service

Service resumes in many markets including the following: Atlanta – Cincinnati, Cleveland – Phoenix, Cincinnati – Phoenix and Phoenix – Salt Lake City.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 N920FR (msn 1997), with Carl the Coyote on the tail, arrives in Washington (Dulles).

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Mesa Airlines expands its E175 agreement with United Airlines

United Express-Mesa Airlines Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N84307 (msn 17000419) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 929957.

Mesa Airlines, Inc. (Phoenix) has announced the expansion of its agreement with United Airlines (Chicago) to operate three additional Embraer 175 aircraft, bringing the total number of United Express aircraft operated by Mesa to 68. In October, the Company announced an agreement for the addition of 15 new aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2016, which has now increased to 18. Mesa currently operates 30 Embraer E175 aircraft and 20 Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft under the United Express brand.

 

The E175’s 76-seat dual-class configuration features 12 First-Class, 16 Premium Economy and 48 Coach seats. The aircraft has Inflight Wi-Fi connectivity, leather seating and electric outlets in First Class.

Mesa Airlines currently operates as American Eagle from hubs in Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth and as United Express from Washington Dulles and Houston. Founded on a mesa in New Mexico in 1982 by Larry and Janie Risley, Mesa currently operates 115 aircraft, with more than 530 daily system departures to 103 cities, 38 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Mexico.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N84307 (msn 17000419) departs from United’s Washington Dulles International Airport hub.

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