American Airlines Cargo successfully transported the musical instruments of the Orchestre Nationale du Capitole to and from a three-city tour of Latin America. The Toulouse-based orchestra is one of France’s leading classical ensembles and has built itself a worldwide reputation under principal conductor Tugan Sokhiev.

Some 694 pieces of cargo including violins, cellos, double basses, three harps and a conductor’s podium were shipped from Paris to Buenos Aires, Argentina, on a wide-bodied American Airlines flight, and then on to Quito, Ecuador and finally Sao Paulo.

Working in partnership with French forwarder Excess Events – who have handled the orchestra’s overseas concert trips for more than a decade – American was charged with moving not only the instruments, but also performance clothing for the 120-strong ensemble that all needed to be completed as one movement to ensure all items arrived together for each concert. The concerts took place at the French embassies in all three Latin American locations.

The sensitive nature of the instruments meant that they required extreme care. At the start of their journey, they were transported by temperature-controlled truck from Toulouse to Paris-CDG for the first leg of the journey.

“We were delighted with the way everything went like clockwork for this prestigious shipment,” said Philippe Ledain, of Excess Events. “Musicians hate to be parted from their instruments for any length of time, so it was essential that they were moved to the Latin America tour in the quickest possible time. Their instruments are their passion, and working with American, we were able to achieve this movement for them.”

 “The orchestra has an exceptional reputation so we were very pleased to have been chosen as the carrier to deliver their precious instruments to the venues across Latin America,” added Kathleen Lesage, regional manager of American Airlines Cargo. “And working in partnership with the team at Excess Events, we were able to ensure everything ran exactly to plan.”