Czech ground handling specialist Skyport recently handled a complete aircraft engine at Prague Vaclav Havel Airport for transportation to Yekaterinburg, Russia, on board a Ural Airlines aircraft.
The engine was a CFM56-5B6/P type, weighing 4.3 tonnes, used mainly for the Airbus A320 family of narrow-body airliners.
“Skyport handles aircraft spare parts on a regular basis and our team are experts in the safe and efficient handling of high-value, heavy goods,” says David Adámek, chief executive officer (CEO), Skyport.
“The Skyport team used a Kalmar Forklift with a 12-tonne lifting capacity to handle the engine during loading, the biggest forklift at Prague Vaclav Havel Airport.”
Prior to loading, the shipment was handled and stored in the Advanced Logistics System (ALS), Skyport’s automatic loading device in its warehouse at Prague Airport.
The project also saw the extension of Skyport’s strategic partnership with Ural Airlines, for whom East-West AERO provides representative activities in the European Union.
Ural Airlines is the fifth largest airline in Russia and operates a fleet of 51 Airbus aircraft from the A320 family, including seven brand new Airbus NEOs.
The airline continued operations throughout the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, having converted 14 of its passenger aircraft into freighters, transporting medical cargo in the cabins.
“Intense operations require regular maintenance of the fleet, including heavy repairs of engines and landing gears,” says Matvey Koloturskiy, deputy CEO – director of economics, JSC Ural Airlines.
“With the help of Skyport, Ural Airlines has already transported ten engines and completed seven leg sets in 2021 to and from its European maintenance partners. We intend to increase our co-operation and are glad that it has increased during the hardest crisis in aviation history.”
In 2021, Ural Airlines has almost returned to its pre-pandemic figures, which are expected to increase further in the coming months.
Ural Airlines’ logistics hub has been located in Prague since 2006, owing to its convenient location in the centre of Europe, with ambitions to grow its physical footprint in the future.