Antonov Airlines has turned 30 and is celebrating numerous aviation milestones but the carrier is now looking forward to future endeavours in the breakbulk and air cargo market.
The airline was founded in 1989 and has since pioneered the air transportation of outsize and heavy cargo across the globe, holding the record for heaviest single piece of cargo transported by air, among others.
“As we look back on thirty years of Antonov Airlines, and the projects that we have completed, we see one of our strengths is the flexibility of our business to adapt to changing markets,” said managing director, Graham Witton.
“We are transporting more outsize cargo than ever before, anything from wind turbine components to city centre trams, and practically anything in between.
“We are also moving further into the aerospace industry as digital communications become more integral in the global economy.”
Antonov Airlines is the international air transportation division of aircraft design bureau, Antonov Company, which provides the engineering and technology behind Antonov Airlines’ fleet.
On 11 August 2009, the Antonov Airlines An-225 ‘Mriya’, the world’s largest aircraft, transported a generator with a total payload of 187.6 tonnes from Frankfurt, Germany to Yerevan, Armenia, breaking the record for heaviest single piece of air cargo ever transported.
“When the business first started, many items such as satellite containers, generators and transformers were too big or too heavy to fly on conventional freighters,” said director, Paul Furlonger, who has been with Antonov Airlines since those first days in 1989.
“Antonov Airlines, as the first commercial operator of the An-124-100, had to quickly pioneer methods of loading using great creativity and flexibility.
“At the beginning, we were doing things for the first time, almost every time, and over the years, after many thousands of flights, our processes have become more refined and our expertise enhanced so that we now undertake ever more challenging and complex projects with absolute confidence,” added Furlonger.