Cargolux is to fly beluga whales 6,000 miles from China to their new home in Iceland in spring this year after becoming the transport partner of the Sea Life Trust and project partner the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC).
A specially branded plane has been unveiled which features Little Grey and Little White on a Boeing 747-400ERF Freighter. The aircraft will help transport the two whales along with a care team to the world’s first open water sanctuary for beluga whales.
The complex journey will see the two belugas move from Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai, China, via land, air and eventually by sea to the large sanctuary in a natural bay at Heimaey, one of the Westman Islands, located off the southern coast of Iceland.
The secluded bay, will be the world’s first open water sanctuary for beluga whales in a ground-breaking global marine welfare project. The bay, which measures up to 32,000 square metres with a depth of up to 10 metres has been chosen to provide a more natural sub-Arctic environment and wild habitat for these whales to call home.
Sea Life Trust head, Andy Bool said: “This is a complex but truly inspiring project to be working on and we are extremely grateful to Cargolux for their generosity in becoming our official transport partner and helping us move Little White and Little Grey to their new, more natural home.
“Cargolux has years of experience working on many of the most logistically intricate projects and their teams have been working with our animal care team, veterinarians and marine experts to ensure we provide the very best journey for Little Grey and Little White.”
Cargolux president and chief executive officer, Richard Forson added: “Cargolux is honoured to have been entrusted with two such incredible whales. This is a ground-breaking project and one which our animal transport experts are proud to be part of. We are meticulously preparing for the move this spring to ensure a seamless journey for Little Grey and Little White.”
This undertaking is a natural follow-up to the increasing amount of measures that the airline has taken to raise awareness about the necessity to promote conservation, preserve the environment, and fight illegal animal trade.
Cargolux is a signatory of the UN Global Compact and a company committed to the UN’s Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals, conservation and sustainable development it says rank high on its list of priorities.