Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Antonov Giant's Join Air Freight Relief Efforts To Haiti

Biggest Aircraft In The World Committed To Japanese Program
Shipping News Feature

HAITI – In order to rapidly deploy heavy earth moving equipment to assist in the clearance and rebuilding works taking place in the earthquake shattered nation of Haiti the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force (JGSDF) has chartered ten flights with monstrous Antonov An-124 and An-225 aircraft from Antonov Airlines and Volga Dnepr Airlines.

The An-124’s, already a firm favourite in the heavy airlift industry, will each carry 65 tonnes of equipment and supplies in nine flights to Port-au-Prince airport whilst the An-225 - the world’s largest freighter aircraft – has already taken a 110-tonne load of earth-moving machinery from Narita in Japan to Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic.

Both aircraft were especially designed for just these sorts of heavy cargoes as was pointed out by Antonov Airlines’ Commercial Director Valery Kulbaka: “The An-225 is ideal for transporting outsized wheeled and tracked items such as this earth moving equipment. The aircraft’s loading ramp means it requires no additional ground handling equipment. In addition, its high volume capacity meant it was able to carry a large quantity of other urgent relief supplies on this same flight.

He added that: “We would like to thank all those who helped with the smooth operation of this flight in such difficult circumstances, and also to pay tribute to the JGSDF (Japan Ground Self-Defence Force) working on behalf of the Japanese Government, for adding to the already enormous assistance being provided by so many organisations. We were delighted to be able to play our own small part in helping Haiti’s recovery.”

(pic: An-225 loading at Narita)