YVR and Sichuan Airlines Kick Off Summer-Long Panda Festival

RICHMOND, BC, June 27, 2014 /CNW/ - To celebrate Sichuan Airlines' second anniversary at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and to mark the important connections between British Columbia and China, Vancouver Airport Authority today announced the name of its newly adopted infant panda.

Lulu – named after the largest island estuary in the Fraser River, which makes up the City of Richmond – lives a leisurely life on Chengdu Panda Base, where the Airport Authority's adoption donation will help to fund important research and conservation initiatives. The name Lulu was chosen by YVR employees and the public through a social media campaign, and means "precious jade" in Chinese.

"Not only does Sichuan Airlines increase trade and business opportunities between British Columbia and China, but it offers Canadians an exciting travel destination to the home of the rare and beloved giant panda," said Craig Richmond, President and CEO of Vancouver Airport Authority. "We're excited to celebrate all-things-panda with our community and Sichuan Airlines, which two years ago chose YVR as its first and only entry point into North America: a testament to our position as a global gateway."

Coinciding with the Airport Authority's panda adoption is Sichuan Airlines' launch of its Summer Panda Festival 2014, happening at the Richmond Night Market from June 27-October 13, 2014. The festival includes a grand prize contest for the chance to win a family trip to visit Sichuan province and the Chengdu Panda Base.

"We're excited to celebrate two years of successful service between Chengdu and Vancouver, via Shenyang, with a festival and contest that celebrates our nation's most treasured animal," said Jian Shi, Vice President of Sichuan Airlines. "We hope to see many visitors to our Summer Panda Festival to learn more about the province of Sichuan and the Giant Pandas who call it home."

Chengdu has been the ancestral homeland to giant pandas since ancient times. The area, located in the heart of one of the world's 34 hot spots of biological diversity, is inhabited by 73 species of rare animals and more than 2,000 species of plants. Chengdu deserves to be called "The Home of the Giant Panda," as just 70 kilometers away from downtown Chengdu sits the heart of giant panda country. At elevations from 350m to 5600m above sea level, it is the only place in the world with both wild and captive giant pandas.

About Vancouver Airport Authority

Vancouver Airport Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that manages Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Canada's second busiest airport, YVR served 17.97 million passengers in 2013. Fifty-three airlines serve YVR, connecting people and businesses to more than 109 non-stop destinations worldwide. Vancouver Airport Authority is a dedicated community partner and in 2013 donated more than $700,000 to local organizations. We are committed to creating an airport that British Columbia can be proud of: a premier global gateway, local economic generator and community contributor. For more information, please visit www.yvr.ca.

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SOURCE: Vancouver Airport Authority

For further information: YVR Media Relations, 604.880.9815, media_relations@yvr.ca, @yvrairport

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