June 7 - Neo Air Charter - the founder and German member of the Global Charter Alliance - has handled the urgent transportation of two giant track rollers from Frankfurt Hahn airport, Germany to Islamabad, Pakistan.

The track rollers - each weighing in at 38 tonnes and measuring 6 m x 2.4 m x 2.9 m on their specially-constructed cradles - were needed urgently to prevent shutdown of a major cement manufacturing plant.

The urgency of the replacement parts meant ocean freight was not an option. From the initial enquiry, through inspection of the cargo, quotation, commissioning of the custom-built cradles, confirmation of flight, arrangements for loading, and delivery to the aircraft took just four working days.

It was originally thought that the size and weight of the two pieces would necessitate the high cost of chartering anAntonov AN-124. However, Neo devised a plan which enabled the use of two consecutive rotations of the smaller and less costly IL76 aircraft, substantially reducing costs for the shipper.

The aircraft routed via Baku for refuelling and crew changes, and operator Silk Way provided extra crews so that mandatory rest requirements would not cause delays and total transit times would be minimised.

The entire programme, from loading in Germany to successful unloading in Pakistan and transfer onto road vehicles, was personally supervised by senior Neo staff, who also accompanied all flights.

Says Neo joint md Stefan Kohlmann: "This was a very demanding charter due to its extreme urgency, and the special equipment needed both for loading and transportation. The loads were a tight fit and, more critically, were just seven tonnes below the maximum payload of the aircraft.

"Everything went to plan, and the plant was able to continue production without any costly delay. Just as importantly, by carefully assessing all the options, we provided a solution that met the tight deadline while offering the customer a very significant saving over the more obvious alternative."