Air Partner - 21 Jun 2016
The Milan and Cologne offices of Air Partner, the global aviation services group, recently joined forces to support the Giro d’Italia, Italy’s most prestigious bike race. The event, which is celebrating its 99th edition this year, is organised by RCS Sport and by the prominent Italian sports newspaper “Gazzetta dello Sport”, which is owned by RCS MediaGroup.
It is the second year that Air Partner’s Commercial Jets division in Milan has acted as the charter supplier for this event. The team worked very closely with the race’s official travel agency, BCD Travel Italia, to organise two passenger flights from Amsterdam, where the first part of the race had taken place, to Lamezia Terme in Italy, ahead of the start of the second phase in Catanzaro, Calabria.
Air Partner teamed with two different operators to carry out the flights, which carried a total of 610 passengers. Flyniki flew members of the press and event organisers on an A321 (212Y configuration), while Thomas Cook brought the athletes and RCS management over on an A330 (396Y configuration). Air Partner worked with Amsterdam Airport Schipol to arrange dedicated check-in and embarkation areas for the travellers, as well as priority lines at security.
The Freight team in Air Partner’s Cologne office was meanwhile tasked with the transportation of the cyclists’ bikes and equipment. Due to a lack of suitable offload equipment in Lamezia, Air Partner chartered two smaller aircraft (B737-400) Freighters from TNT Airways rather than one wide body aircraft. At departure, the 20+ team vehicles were carefully timed so that each lorry offloaded at the cargo ramp in Amsterdam Schipol at a different time. On arrival, the different team vehicles were called up from the parking area, one by one, to collect their respective teams’ cargo.
Markus Rippel, Freight Charter Broker at Air Partner’s German office, said: “The most important logistical factor in this operation was the coordination of the different team’s cargoes at both the departure and destination airports. We were careful to ensure that all the kit from each team was kept together and loaded onto the same aircraft pallets wherever possible in order to facilitate smooth offloading at Lamezia airport.”
Domenico Di Lecce, Commercial Jet Sales Manager at Air Partner’s Milan office, said: “This project is a great example of Air Partner’s ability to leverage its different divisions across its global network of offices to provide clients with a “one-stop shop” that can facilitate all their air charter needs. The co-ordination between Cologne and Milan offices was exemplary and my thanks go to both teams. We very much enjoyed working with BCD Travel Italia and hope that we can be of service in the future.”
Riccardo Becocci at BCD Travel, said: “We would like to thank Air Partner for growing our partnership throughout this event and for all the hard work done together. Ensuring that all the right equipment reached the right teams was no mean feat but Air Partner carried off the logistics without a hitch, helping us manage a stress-free and efficient travelling and staying experience for all our passengers.”