An Antonov-225 flew an emergency mission carrying supplies for the typhoon-hit island of Guam, USA, on 11 September – which was also the first time the AN-225 has landed on the island of Guam.
The flight was organised within hours and was chartered by Air Partner on behalf of the US Government as Typhoon Mangkhut was about to hit Guam in the Mariana Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean 1,600 miles east of Manila in the Philippines.
The aircraft, which is the biggest in the world, made its way from Ukraine to California in a mammoth 13-hour non-stop flight, before flying from Oakland International Airport to Guam International Airport with over 123,000 kg (271,200 lb) of aid.
The choice to use the AN-225 was made based on its immediate availability, coupled with the need to transport the maximum possible volume of cargo in the shortest possible timeframe.
The capability of the aircraft to load outsized cargoes, such as emergency response vehicles, allows the team responsible to plan operations flexibly in rapidly changing circumstances during emergency situations.
The ability to load and unload through the aircraft’s nose cargo ramp without any special ground infrastructure allows for the transport of a wide range of cargo with minimal notice, as well as enabling the operation to be carried out completely autonomously.
“Delivery time and maximum payload were key factors in the choice of the AN-225 aircraft for this air shipment,” said Antonov Airlines head of commercial department, Ruslan Bykovets.
“The Antonov Airlines team organised this complicated operation overnight during the weekend, proving once again our ability to react quickly to the needs of the customers 24/7, which is crucial in maintaining our position at the forefront of the cargo charter market.”
Because of the Open Skies Agreement between Ukraine and the US, which grants the airline a blanket exemption giving unlimited flights to and from the US, ANTONOV Airlines can carry any type of cargo with only a few hours’ notice and without the need for a US Department of Transport (DoT) statements of authorisations, which is crucial in time-critical emergency scenarios when deployment is needed within a very short timeframe.