Heavy demand for Antonov Airlines’ AN-225 on capacity crunch

Antonov AN 225
Photo: Balmung-Medical
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Outsized and super-heavy air cargo transporter, Antonov Airlines, has delivered 110 tonnes of Covid-19 testing kits from Tianjin, China, to Linz, Austria, on the unique AN-225 ‘Mriya’ for use in Austrian pharmacies.

Antonov Airlines says it provided an efficient and safe solution for the medical sector consignee as the global air freight market continues to experience rapidly changing conditions in recent weeks caused by ongoing global capacity constraints and Covid-19. The one-of-a-kind AN-255 is fully booked according to Antonov.

AN 225
The AN-225 carried 110 tonnes of tests from China to Austria. Photo: Balmung-Medical.

“We chartered the Antonov Airlines AN-225 to best serve the client’s needs in terms of capacity and availability,” said Tim Fernholz, Charter Sales, Chapman Freeborn.

“Antonov Airlines and Chapman Freeborn have once again partnered to benefit the end customer by sourcing solutions that are outside of the ordinary, such as chartering the world’s largest aircraft.”

Throughout the pandemic, the AN-225 has been commissioned to transport medical supplies in volumes unmatched by other aircraft per flight and has carried more than 1,300 tonnes of medical and humanitarian cargo in 2020 alone.

AN 225
The AN-225 carried more than 1,300 tonnes of medical and humanitarian cargo in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Emmanuel-Schawaller.

“Currently, there is a lack of transport capacity in the global market, particularly for maritime users, which has impacted air freight availability by increasing demand significantly,” said Andriy Blagovisniy, commercial director, Antonov Airlines.

“The Antonov Airlines fleet of AN-124-100s is fully booked, which means our AN-225, with its 250-tonne payload, is in demand to source solutions for our customer’s urgent logistics tasks.”

On the return trip, a technical stop was required in Istanbul, Turkey, which marked the first time the world’s largest aircraft has visited the new Istanbul airport (IST).

The AN-225 Mriya complements Antonov Airlines’ fleet of seven AN-124-100s, two with a capacity of up to 150 tonnes.

AN 225
This project marked the first time that the AN-225 landed in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: Tim-Fernholz.

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