PARIS-- FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world's largest express transportation company, has today announced the safe arrival of two three-year-old giant pandas, Huan Huan and Yuan Zi, from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China to Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport in France. 
Working in conjunction with ZooParc de Beauval, the specially-chartered Boeing 777F flight known as the “FedEx Panda Express” landed in Paris on Jan. 15 at noon local time, 6 a.m. Eastern time. The arrival of these special animals marks the first time in 10 years that giant pandas will reside in France. 

The non-stop flight was chartered especially for the VIPs—Very Important Pandas—and the pair travelled in custom-built enclosures provided by FedEx Express. In-flight, Huan Huan and Yuan Zi spent the journey snoozing and eating bamboo. They were accompanied by a Chinese veterinarian and animal handler as well as the managing director from ZooParc de Beauval to look after their needs throughout the journey. 

“This is an emotional moment for us as we finally see this dream come true. We are delighted to welcome Huan Huan and Yuan Zi to their specially-built enclosures at ZooParc de Beauval,” said Rodolphe Delord, managing director of the ZooParc de Beauval. “We are honored to play such a direct role in the protection of this endangered species and look forward to joint research and conservation programs between Beauval and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.” 

During the flight, the pandas were in the safe hands of seasoned pilots Captain Paul Cassel, Captain Tom Jenkins and Captain John Hunt, who all have extensive experience in transporting some of the world’s most precious cargo, ranging from white rhinos to penguins. 

“I am delighted to confirm that the FedEx Panda Express has safely touched down at Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport,” said Captain Paul Cassel, FedEx Express. “It was an absolute privilege and honor to fly Huan Huan and Yuan Zi, and to be part of this significant moment to bring the pandas to their new home in France. Although every flight is unique, this flight has been particularly special—carrying such rare animals made the journey very exciting for all of us.” 

The pandas continued their journey in FedEx Express vehicles to deliver them to their new home at ZooParc de Beauval. French authorities were also on hand to ensure a smooth ride. Upon arrival, the pandas will reside together in the new magnificent Chinese area in a specially-built giant panda enclosure at ZooParc de Beauval.