Sign up for the TODAY newsletter

You have successfully subscribed to the TODAY newsletter.

Subscribe now and get trending stories, celebrity news and all the best of TODAY.

Just plane cute: Koalas get first-class perks before Qantas flight to Singapore

by Chris Serico /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter

At least one koala got a taste of first class — and apparently some eucalyptus — before jet-setting from Australia to Singapore.

Before four koalas named Chan, Idalia, Paddle and Pellita boarded a Qantas Airways flight for a six-month stay at the Singapore Zoo, at least one of them was presented with seltzer and hot towels in a first-class photo op.

Australia's gift of koalas is intended to enhance the country's diplomatic relations with Singapore, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its independence.

At the Singapore Zoo, the animals will "reside in a world class, purpose-built koala exhibit," according to a press release issued Thursday by Julie Bishop, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs. Announcing intentions to visit the zoo next month, Bishop hopes it will be able to sustain a koala colony over time.

Qantas agreed not only to fly the koalas to and from Singapore, but also to transport fresh eucalyptus twice weekly to the zoo.

But luxury can be fleeting. In reality, the animals were expected to travel in custom-built containers stowed in Qantas' cargo hold for Monday's seven-hour flight, according to reports.

The airline did not respond to a request for comment (or details on how we could arrange our seats to be next to koalas on future flights).

Follow TODAY.com writer Chris Serico on Twitter.

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
MORE FROM today