Antonov Airlines resumes freight operations from its temporary base in Germany
Antonov Airlines, the Ukrainian air freight specialist, has resumed its operations dedicated to moving heavy lift and abnormal freight. To this end, the company will temporarily use the Leipzig/Halle Airport as its operational base. Such a decision was caused by the current ban on commercial flights in Ukraine and the serious damages at the Hostomel Airport after the military hostilities.
Starting from early May 2022, the Leipzig/Halle Airport in Germany will be a temporary operational base of Antonov Airlines, the Ukrainian well-known air freight company that is focused on transporting heavy lift and oversized freight. Five An-124-100 aircraft are currently based at the German airport. The Ukrainian air freight specialist also relocated its technical team to maintain the freighters.
“After the victory over the Russian occupiers and restoration of the Kyiv-Antonov-2 Airport, it will again become the base for the An-124-100s fleet of the Antonov Airlines,” the company noted in its official statement on Tuesday, 17 May.
According to Antonov Airlines, the temporary base in Germany will allow the company to resume freight operations and to perform commercial and governmental orders, which were concluded before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. One of them is to move freight for the member states of NATO within the Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) programme. It is worth adding that the Ukrainian company earlier used the Leipzig/Halle Airport for the maintenance of its freighters.
Antonov Airlines has been cooperating with NATO since 2006. Until 2016, it was moving freight in a partnership with Volga-Dnepr, the Russian air freight specialist. Afterwards, the Ukrainian company continued to work with NATO by itself. In 2016 it concluded a three-year-long agreement for transporting heavy lift and oversized freight. Three years ago, a new deal was set up between the parties. In November 2021 NATO and Antonov Airlines signed a five-year-long agreement.