Pandering To Pandas -- WestJet Delivers Bamboo To Calgary Zoo

Nina Slawek, Open Jaw

Who says airplane food is mediocre?

Certainly not a quartet of picky pandas at the Calgary Zoo. 

When Chinese airline Hainan discontinued direct flights to Calgary at the end of October, the zoo was suddenly faced with a shortage of fresh bamboo for its four giant pandas, who devour about 1,200 kilograms of the stuff a week.

Enter WestJet. The carrier with a bear sized heart couldn’t stand by and leave the pandas to nibble on wilted bamboo. WestJet stepped forward to fly in fresh bamboo on its cargo planes twice weekly from YYZ to YYC. The zoo says Hainan still flies to Toronto and hands off the panda food to WestJet.

"Since our giant pandas don’t like wilted bamboo, this was fantastic news as WestJet cargo also provides cool storage that ensures the pandas have access to the freshest bamboo possible," said the zoo in a news release.

Two adult pandas and their two cubs, which staff admit are picky eaters, came to Calgary in MAR 2018 from the Toronto Zoo.

Panda-monium averted…

Nina Slawek

Nina Slawek President

The visionary co-founder of Open Jaw, Nina handles everything at OJ from the purse-strings to the talented but eccentric staff. She is frequently spotted hobnobbing with industry leaders and making glamorous appearances in the Open Jaw TV Room.


HANNA - November 11, 2019 @ 10:10
Way to go Westjet ! Thank you for caring about the little cuties.

DEBBIE - November 8, 2019 @ 11:52
Thank you West Jet for caring , that is so nice

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