Monday, June 24, 2024

Olympic committee declines offer of ride to Tokyo on logistical grounds

The Mexican Olympic Committee (COM) has turned down the government’s offer for transport to Tokyo next month on the presidential plane.

Finance Minister Arturo Herrera had indicated that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner would take athletes to the Olympic Games, and had been flown to the U.S. for maintenance work in preparation.

However, COM president Carlos Padilla said that the number of flights and athletes in question made the plane logistically ill-suited to the task.

The transport operation will involve more than 120 flights, meaning a single aircraft would be insufficient and more costly. Athletes will also be required to return the day after completing their participation in the competition.

Some competitors will head to the games from outside of Mexico, such as those traveling straight from tennis, golf or softball tournaments, and the timing of arrival will be defined in the days prior to the event, since each athlete has to undergo health screenings in order to diminish the risk of Covid contagion.

Given the logistical complexity, COM has a contract with the Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA), which will be in charge of transporting the 73 male and 46 female competitors.

Padilla nevertheless thanked the government for the offer, and said that they would use the presidential plane if it were urgently required.

The plane was bought by former president Felipe Calderón for US $218 million and used by his successor, and has been on the market for three years.

Sources: Infobae (sp), El Universal (sp)

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