NEO Air Charter and Blue Water heat up Iceland

Frankfurt-based Broker NEO Air Charter and its project partner Blue Water Shipping of Billund, Denmark delivered urgently needed heat pipes to Reykjanes Pensinsula in the southwest of Iceland. The pipes were badly needed to repair Iceland’s geothermal heating infrastructure and to warm up the homes of many dwellers again.

Heating equipment on way from Cologne to Keflavik – photo: courtesy NEO Air Charter

Thousands of people were freezing
The tubes fell victim to repeated earthquakes, followed by eruptions of the Fagradalsfjall volcano and large lava flows cutting off 20,000 households from Iceland’s heating system at temperatures well below the frost line.

The relief shipments were loaded at Cologne Bonn Airport on board a Bluebird Airlines B737 freighter that flew them to Keflavik Airport. The entire project took place under enormous time pressure due to extremely demanding external conditions.

Tough timing
Blue Water Shipping of Billund, Denmark and NEO staff worked throughout a Sunday to locate and book a suitable aircraft – a Bluebird Airlines B737F – to operate the emergency flight from Cologne to Keflavik. Prior to that, experts had arranged ground transport for the 90-minute journey from the pipe manufacturer to CGN. Despite cargo ground handler- and Customs staff shortages caused by the local Rose Monday public holiday in the Rhine region, and an error in the declared size of the packages, NEO succeeded in having the pallets broken down, the 1,000 boxes of pipes individually X-ray scanned and re-packed onto 41 pallets, and then the shipment loaded onto the waiting freighter.

Many obstacles had to be set aside
The broker’s staff were on hand in Cologne to oversee the whole ground handling and loading process. In the end, the flight took off just two hours later than originally scheduled, and less than 24 hours after the initial (Sunday) booking. The goods arrived in Keflavik the same evening.

“This was one of those jobs where we hit one obstacle after another, but – through perseverance and close collaboration with all parties – it all worked out fine in the end,” says NEO’s General Manager Brian Davis. “We’d like to particularly thank both ground handler dnata for putting an extra team on the job at extremely short notice, and Customs in Cologne for giving the complex procedures for this critically urgent, high-value shipment their top priority.”

The partnership has proven its worth
Nicolai Nørgaard, Head of Air Charter for Blue Water Shipping, added: “We were very pleased to be asked to assist the effort to restore heating to Icelandic homes in such cold weather, and the partnership between Blue Water and NEO certainly delivered.”

Neo Air Charter is a member of the NEO Air Group GmbH, which also provides onboard courier and ad hoc air cargo solutions, for a strictly trade-only group of customers.

This Neo Air Charter / Blue Water Shipping example shows once again what air freight can accomplish when urgent need arises.



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