TAP Air Portugal welcomes an extra-special passenger onboard flight to Lisbon
In a heart-warming display of dedication to wildlife conservation, TAP Airlines has transported a koala bear from Paris to its new home at Lisbon Zoo.
This extraordinary journey took place onboard TAP’s sustainable A320neo aircraft, showcasing the airline’s ongoing commitment to rehoming animals via its Threatened Species Conservation Programme.
Passengers and crew members were captivated by the adorable marsupial, named Gowi Nee Bu, and TAP ensured that the flight was comfortable and stress-free for their unique guest as it relaxed in TAP’s Economy Class cabin.
Embarking on an unforgettable adventure aboard flight TP0439 from Paris to Lisbon, Gowi Nee Bu was accompanied by a dedicated handler and placed in a specially designed transport cage furnished with a wooden log for him to enjoy during the journey.
Spending time with his fellow passengers and receiving attentive care from the onboard caretaker and cabin crew, the two-hour 30-minute flight allowed the little bear to observe the world from a new perspective, taking in its new sky-high surroundings at 38,000 feet.
Like all koalas, Gowi Nee Bu can sleep up to 20 hours a day, making his flight with TAP a snooze in the sky as the aircraft winged its way to Lisbon.
The Portuguese carrier has supported the successful repatriation efforts of many exotic animals over the years, rehoming endangered and recovering animals to a range of destinations across its vast network.
Ricardo Dinis, TAP Country Manager for the UK & Ireland, said: “We couldn’t bear to not help this endangered species and were delighted to fly Gowi Nee Bu in style on a koala-ty flight with TAP to his new home at Lisbon.
“Every customer is special to us, so we took care to ensure this little koala bear had a stress-free flight, as we know they are sensitive animals unable to fly in an aircraft’s hold and needed to travel in the comfort of our spacious cabin and close to their handler to look after his welfare while in the air.”
Gowi Nee Bu was flown from France to Portugal as he was compatible with a female koala from the zoo in Lisbon for mating purposes, with the aim to release any new offspring back into their natural habitat.
Unfortunately, due to deforestation and other habitat hindering activity, the koala population is declining, which is why TAP was so keen to play its part in repatriating Gowi Nee Bu.
As Australian natives, koalas usually like to spend their time resting in the fork of a smooth barked Gum Tree, making this koala’s trip with TAP far from the ordinary.
TAP is an established partner of Lisbon Zoo, transporting numerous animals every year and specialises in looking after the particular needs of each species.
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