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Qantas cuts ties with attractions featuring captive cetaceans, joining BA and Virgin

cetacean whale

Qantas has confirmed it does not promote attractions that keep captive cetaceans, assuring guests that it has a ‘responsibility as Australia’s largest airline’.

This follows news that both British Airways Holidays and Virgin Holidays have stopped selling tickets to similar attractions.

Qantas confirmed to Yahoo Lifestyle that it has also cut ties with attractions that use captive dolphins, whales and orcas.

Qantas has not named any individual attractions, but a spokesperson said: “We don’t promote these types of venues.

“As Australia’s largest airline we know we have a responsibility to ensure organisations we partner with meet our own expectations and that of the community.”

Qantas does not “promote these types of venues”

cetacean dolphin

Last week, British Airways Holidays announced a new partnership with international wildlife charity Born Free, with which it has developed an animal welfare strategy.

As part of the strategy, British Airways Holidays will no longer promote the captivity of wild animals, and will not sell tickets to attractions where captive wild animals are “central to the attraction”.

Meanwhile, Virgin Holidays has stopped selling and promoting tourism attractions that have captive whales and dolphins, including SeaWorld and Discovery Cove.

The company ended partnerships with SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Atlantis the Palm, and Atlantis Paradise Island.

Axing attractions with captive whales and dolphins

sea life trust little grey little white beluga whales iceland

In response to Virgin Holidays’ announcement, Dan Ashe, President and CEO of Association of Zoos and Aquariums, said AZA is “very disappointed”.

Responding to BA’s decision, SeaWorld CEO, Gus Antorcha, said: “Pressuring companies and trying to shame them into cutting ties with independently accredited zoos and aquariums works against the vital research and conservation work to protect these animals.”

Meanwhile, Merlin Entertainments’ SEA LIFE Trust recently released information about the formerly captive Little Grey and Little White (pictured above), who are travelling to the world’s first open water sanctuary for beluga whales.

Images: Creative Commons/SEA LIFE Trust

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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