Antonov Airlines transport essential pharmaceutical machinery from Germany to the US, where it will be used for the production of COVID-19 vaccines.
The carrier operated six flights of the cargo from Germany’s Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (HHN) to US cities including Baltimore (BWI) and Kinston Regional Jetport (ISO), North Carolina. Some of the flights had to navigate poor weather conditions in the US caused by snowstorms.
The heavy snowfall across the US meant a change in arrival airport for one of the flights from Baltimore to Stewart International Airport (SWF), New York, was required to ensure the safe delivery of the cargo, the carrier says.
Antonov Airlines used AN-124 aircraft, each with a payload of 150 tonnes, to transport the machinery, with each consignment weighing 100 tonnes. The cargo was loaded and unloaded onto the AN-124s using external cranes and unique loading equipment that was developed by Antonov Airlines’ in-house engineers. DHL Global Forwarding chartered the Ukrainian-headquartered carrier to undertake the moves.
“The flights were a great charter project that we carried out together with Antonov Airlines professionally and to the fullest customer satisfaction,” says Christopher Klein, senior manager Global Charters, DHL Global Forwarding.
“In the past few months, there have been a number of challenges to master, most recently a snowstorm on the US east coast, which meant we had to change the destination airport at short notice.”
Dmytro Prosvirin, head of Customer Service Department, Antonov Airlines, adds: “It is a global effort in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and we are honoured that Antonov Airlines played a key role in this.”