Volga-Dnepr Airlines has delivered the first consignment of tunneling equipment to the Russian city of Sochi as it begins construction work of a new ground transport infrastructure in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

The 94-ton outsize cargo was delivered from Novosibirsk to Sochi Airport onboard one of the airline’s AN-124-100 freighters on behalf of OAO Bamtonnelstroy, a railway and road tunnel construction specialist and a contractor to OAO Russian Railways for the 2014 Olympics Project. The tunneling equipment will be used in railway and road tunnel construction.

‘It was not by chance that we chose Volga-Dnepr as the carrier for the mission. It has been our long standing partner. Five years ago, Volga-Dnepr transported this equipment from St. Petersburg to Novosibirsk for laying subway railways,’ said a Bamtonnelstroy representative.

Sergey Dyachkov, Senior Executive Vice President Operations for Volga-Dnepr Airlines stated the airline’s great pride in being part of the team supporting projects for the Olympics. ‘Volga-Dnepr has regularly participated in the implementation of projects run by the Government and we are extremely proud to be making an important contribution to what will be another important event in Russia’s history,’ he said.

The flight arrival was also a momentous day for Sochi Airport. ‘The arrival at the airport of the АN-124 freighter with construction equipment for the Olympics facilities is a significant event for the airport operating company,’ said Alexander Golovin, General Director, Sochi International Airport, ‘because it has given a stimulus to a program of accepting freight which can be delivered to Sochi only by air.’

In June 2007, Volga-Dnepr Airlines carried a 63 tonnes ice skating rink being used as part of Sochi’s bid to win the 2014 Winter Olympic Games to Guatemala where the International Olympic Committee was meeting to choose a host city for the 2014 Games. It formed the main arena for Russia’s final presentation to the Committee.