A charter for the ice track

Lufthansa Cargo flies bobs to Sochi for the World Cup.

Lufthansa Cargo arranged a charter flight to transport the bobsleighs of the top pilots to the former Olympic city on the Black Sea, ensuring all of the attention can be fixed on the international bob elite in Sochi at beginning of February. It’s been a year since the athletes of the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (FIBT) competed for Olympic medals in the Sanki Sliding Center. The ice track, located 60 kilometres from Sochi, was the venue for the bobsleigh and skeleton events at the XXII Winter Olympic Games in February 2014.

The final of the Viessmann FIBT Bob & Skeleton World Cup Tour 2014/2015 is now scheduled for the 1,500m long run at the Sanki Sliding Center this weekend. To ensure the top international athletes can dash along the ice track, their equipment had to be transported within a very short time from the previous World Cup venue in Igls, Austria, to Sochi on the Black Sea coast. This ambitious timescale necessitated professional organisational management and well-coordinated partners in the logistics chain as training was already scheduled very soon after the transport.

Lufthansa Cargo took on this undertaking together with Kühne + Nagel, arranging a charter flight from Munich to Sochi for the some 50 bobs and 27 skeletons. Immediately after the World Cup race in Igls near Innsbruck, the bob teams delivered their bobs to Kühne + Nagel in Munich in the early evening. These were packed into waiting boxes there. The handover to Lufthansa Cargo took place at 7 a.m. one day after the previous race.

Handling employees in Munich arranged the aluminium and wooden boxes on pallets so that they would subsequently fit in their designated location in the MD-11F hold. When the MD-11F with flight number LH8328 took off from Munich at 17:51, the aircraft was filled with five lower deck and ten main deck pallets and the precious cargo was securely lashed. After almost three hours’ flying time, the crew under Captain Andreas Wille and First Officer Christoph Sigge landed the plane safely in Sochi. Hopefully the run along the ice tracks went just as smoothly as the flight.

The poor performance of the German bob pilots at last year’s Olympic Games was a massive disappointment. But their form has been on the up in recent months and the athletes are focused on redeeming themselves on the Olympic track.