EVA Air will carry two endangered red-crowned cranes from the Kushiro City Zoo in Hokkaido, Japan to Taiwan for the Taipei City Zoo on 14 Sept., 2011. EVA is outfitting one of its Boeing 747-400 combis for the comfort and well-being of its precious cargo and creating crane-themed cabins for conservation experts, veterinarians and passengers who will be onboard the special flight. As plans for the special flight progress, additional details and updates will be posted on the EVA website at www.evaair.com .
The tall, thin elegant birds are especially prized in Chinese and Japanese cultures for various symbolic representations of happiness, health, longevity, faithful love and immortality. In addition to rearranging its schedule, EVA is substituting the B747-400 combi for the passenger aircraft regularly used for its Hokkaido service. The fleet adjustment will enable the conservation experts and veterinarians to easily walk back and forth between passenger cabins and the spacious 18 square meters (590 sq. ft.) temperature-controlled cargo hold.
EVA’s reputation as an airline of choice for transporting rare and precious cargo began to grow 10 years ago when it carried endangered orangutans and gibbons to England. Since that flight, the carrier has been selected to transport koalas from Australia, giant pandas from China and yellow-headed temple turtles from Hong Kong, in addition to collections of irreplaceable art and relics en route from the world’s greatest museums to special exhibitions in distant nations.
“It’s an honor for EVA to carry Big and Kika,” said EVA Air Chairman James Jeng. “We will make every effort to make sure they have a comfortable and relaxing flight. I am grateful for the tremendous trust and recognition EVA is privileged to receive for our safe and reliable transport of priceless cargo.”
EVA flight BR116 is scheduled to depart Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport at 8:55 (8:55 am) and arrive at Hokkaido prefecture’s New Chitose Airport at 13:45 (1:45 pm). Return flight BR115 is scheduled to leave Chitose at 15:00 (3:00 pm) and arrive back in Taoyuan at 18:10 (6:10 pm) that evening. Flight time of the special trip will be 4 hours and 10 minutes.
Taiwan-based EVA provides both passenger and air cargo services to destinations worldwide, with gateways on four continents and one of the airline industry’s most far-reaching networks in China and throughout Asia.