Antonov Airlines has transported Taylor Swift concert equipment across Australia, New Zealand, and Japan as part of the singer’s ‘Reputation Stadium Tour’.
The gear was flown from Brisbane Airport, to Auckland Airport and then on to Tokyo Narita International Airport – all stops on the final leg of the US artist’s global tour.
Two An-124-100s ‘Ruslan’ with payloads of 120 tonnes were used earlier this month and the load included a light-show system and equipment. Nine flights were operated with six taking off from Brisbane and three leaving Auckland for Tokyo.
Rock-it Cargo was the freight forwarder for the 2018 Taylor Swift Tour and chief executive officer, David C Bernstein said: “After evaluating all of the aircraft and air carriers capable of fulfilling the operational requirements of our client’s schedule, which required the uplift of 635 tons (576 metric tonnes) within 36 hours from Brisbane to Auckland, it became clear that the Antonov Airlines operated AN-124 aircraft was the ideal aircraft for the mission.”
“The roll-on, roll-off capability of the AN-124 combined with the impeccable planning and coordination provided by Graham Witton and the entire Antonov Airlines team, resulted in an early delivery of all the gear to the Auckland concert venue.”
Antonov Airlines managing director in the UK, Graham Witton said: “Antonov AN-124-100 was the obvious choice because the equipment that was being transported needed the full floor space that the aircraft can provide.
“We met the challenge of an intense back-to-back concert schedule, and we sent out two crews to Australia to ensure that both aircraft could operate three rotations without any break for 24 hours.”
Antonov Airlines turned around the same shipment earlier this year when Taylor Swift came to Wembley, UK, in June, as part of the same tour.
The airline operates a fleet of seven AN-124-100 ‘Ruslan’ aircraft with up to 150-tonnes payload, including the largest aircraft in the world, the 250-tonne payload AN-225 ‘Mriya’.