The six white whales have been transported from Hong Kong to Kaohsiung via China Airline's B747-400F chartered cargo flight CI1332 on August 12, 2002. This is the first time that this kind of marine animal visits Taiwan.
Aged 2 years old and with length between 2.5 and 3.2 meters, the six whales weigh between 500 and 700 kilograms. China Airlines was chosen for this special shipping assignment because of its rich experience in transporting live animals. Originating from Russia and purchased by National Museum of Marine, Biology and Aquarium in Taiwan, these white whales will be trucked exclusively to the Museum once landed in Kaohsiung.
The transportation of white whales needs special skills and techniques and abides by the IATA Live Animal Regulation standard for marine animals. The special water tanks are water proof and filled with seawater and 8 inches longer than the length of the whales to prevent percussion. The heads, fins and tails of these animals are also coated with sheep oil to protect them from temperature changes. During the shipping process, staff from China Airlines and Russia will accompany the white whale to provide special cares.
China Airlines has been well recognized with its technical specialty and know-how for transporting commodities of special nature. Other than this special shipment, previous special-care shipping included terra cotta worriers from mainland China in 2000 and giraffe from the US in 2001. China Airlines has entered the ranks of the world's top ten cargo-carrying airlines, in terms of both improved service quality and expanded cargo capacity. In Taiwan, of course, China Airlines is firmly entrenched in the first place.