Last updated: 10:12 AM ET, Mon April 13 2015

Qantas Introduces 'Koala Class' on Flight from Australia to Singapore

Airlines & Airports | Patrick Clarke | April 13, 2015

Qantas Introduces 'Koala Class' on Flight from Australia to Singapore

Photo via Twitter

Australia's leading airline, Qantas Airways is the first to debut "koala class," flying four of the cute creatures from Brisbane to Singapore in celebration of the Asian Republic's 50 years of independence and a half century of diplomatic ties between the two nations. 

Koala bears Paddle, Pellita, Chan and Idalia were scheduled to arrive in Singapore on Monday, where they will be on loan to the Singapore Zoo for six months. 

After completing quarantine procedures, the koalas will officially be handed over during a ceremony next month. In the meantime, officials at the zoo are working to complete construction of the enclosure where the koalas will stay.

"The gift will be made permanent when Singapore Zoo can support a koala colony," said Australia's minister of foreign affairs Julie Bishop in a statement last week.

While photos on Qantas' official Twitter account show the koalas relaxing in first-class seats, being tended to by flight attendants and munching on eucalyptus leaves, the animals were transported in the cargo hold, inside customized climate-controlled capsules.

The special carriers were even equipped with eucalyptus trees to ensure the koalas didn't go hungry over the course of the seven-hour flight. 

But Qantas' partnership won't expire once the dropoff is complete, as the New South Wales-based airline will be tasked with taking "supplies of fresh eucalyptus twice weekly to Singapore Zoo for the duration" of the koalas' loan, according to Bishop.

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