Formula One arrives in Sochi

Three flights conveying Formula One racing cars and spare parts from Nagoya following the Japanese Grand Prix arrived at Sochi International Airport on October 7, as part of the preparations for the forthcoming Russian Grand Prix.
Operated by the Basel Aero subsidiary of Russian industrial group Basic Element, the airport lies close to the Sochi Autodrom, where the first Russian Grand Prix is to be held on October 10-12. The Autodrom forms part of the Olympic Park which was created to host the Winter Games in February 2014.
The 130-tonne consignment was transported using a Boeing 747-800F and two Boeing 747-400Fs which arrived from Nagoya at 20.27 and 21.54 on October 6 and at 05.07 on October 7. The flights were operated by Russian international carrier AirBridgeCargo and Nippon Cargo Airlines of Japan. The disassembled racing cars were packed in special containers, accompanied by spare parts as well as television broadcasting equipment. On arrival, the containers were screened for customs before being delivered to the Autodrom.
According to Basel Aero, Sochi International Airport has handled no less than 700 tonnes of cargo related to the Formula One event in the week beginning September 30. A further shipment was scheduled to arrive in Sochi later on October 7, using three Boeing 747-400Fs on a transit flight from Japan via the Eastern Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.
Between September 30 and October 2, Sochi International Airport handled three cargo aircraft operated by AirBridgeCargo and MNG Airlines of Turkey which delivered vehicles and materials for the GP2 and GP3 series races that will be held on October 11-12, totalling 174 tonnes.
Following the completion of the Russian Grand Prix, all of the racing cars and other equipment will be forwarded to the UK, Italy and Greece by AirBridgeCargo and MNG on October 14-16.
Basel Aero CEO Leonid Sergeyev said handling the racing cars and related equipment was ‘not a new challenge for the Sochi International Airport’, as the airport handled 1,600 tonnes of cargo during the Olympics. However, he added that it was ‘a great honour for the airport to be a gateway for Russia’s first Formula One Grand Prix’.

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