Antonov Airlines is a Ukrainian cargo airline, a division of the Antonov aviation company. It operates international charter services in the world of oversized cargo market. Its main base is Gostomel Airport near Kiev. The company owns an Antonov An-225, the world's largest operational cargo aircraft and the only one completed.
The airline was established and started operations in 1989 through a marketing agent agreement with Air Foyle to market Antonov An-124 Ruslan cargo charters worldwide. This relationship ended in June 2006. The same month Antonov Airlines and another large player in the global specialty air cargo business, Volga-Dnepr Airlines (Russia), established a joint venture company — Ruslan International — where each company has a 50% stake. The joint operation of the Ukrainian and Russian fleets allows them to share the combined An-124-100 commercial fleet of seventeen aircraft (seven of which belong to Antonov Airlines) and the only Antonov An-225 in service worldwide — the largest cargo aircraft in the world.
Notable cargo delivered by Antonov Airlines include:
- An 88 ton water turbine for the Tashtakumska Hydroelectric Plant from Kharkiv to Tashkent;
- Civil engineering vehicles to deal with the consequences of the earthquake in Spitak, Armenia;
- Vehicles and systems for resolving the Persian Gulf crisis (mine clearance bulldozers, mobile electric stations, special mine, and oil-clearing boats, humanitarian assistance);
- A 135.2 ton Siemens generator from Düsseldorf, Germany to Delhi, India was air-lifted by An-124;
- Nuclear fuel in special containers from Habaniya, Iraq to Yekaterinburg (Russia) under the United Nations program for disarmament of Iraq;
- A 102 ton locomotive from London, Canada to Dublin, Ireland;
- A 70 ton generator was flown to Lahore, Pakistan from Doncaster Robin Hood, United Kingdom for power station needs;
- A 187.6 ton power plant generator from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, Germany to Yerevan (listed in the Guinness Book of Records)
- A 95 ton Putzmeister concrete pump from the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport to Japan to assist with the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant
Currently the airline's fleet consist of:
- 1 Antonov An-225 Mriya (shared with the Antonov Design Bureau)
- 7 Antonov An-124-100 Ruslan
- 1 Antonov An-22 Antaeus (Stored)
- 3 Antonov An-12
- 1 Antonov An-26
- 1 Antonov An-74
Antonov Airlines also operates the following aircraft for the Antonov Design Bureau:
- 1 Antonov An-28 (Antonov Design Bureau)
- 1 Antonov An-32 (Antonov Design Bureau)
- 3 Antonov An-140 (Antonov Design Bureau)
- 2 Antonov An-148 (Antonov Design Bureau)
- "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. p. 76.
- Flight International 27 March 2007
- "Company Profile". Volga-dnepr.com. 2006-12-27. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- a maximum take-off weight of over 600 tonnes and the plane with the widest wing-span, at 88.4 m (290 ft) http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records-5000/heaviest-item-airlifted/
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- "Antonov's Giant: the An-124 Ruslan".
- "looking at irish rail past and today".
- Pavey, Rob (2011-03-31). "SRS pump will head to Japan | The Augusta Chronicle". Chronicle.augusta.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
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