Antonov Airlines transports pharma manufacturing equipment


Antonov Airlines has transported essential pharmaceutical machinery from Germany to the USA, where it will be used for the production of COVID-19 vaccines.

The carrier safely operated six flights of the cargo from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, Germany, to the USA – including Baltimore, Maryland, and Kinston Regional Jetport, North Carolina – with some flights having to navigate poor weather conditions in the USA caused by snowstorms.

Heavy snowfall across the USA meant a change in arrival airport for one of the flights from Baltimore to Stewart International Airport, New York was necessary for a safe flight.

Antonov Airlines used AN-124 planes, each with a payload of 150 tonnes, to carry the machinery. Each consignment weighed 100 tonnes.

The cargo was loaded and unloaded onto the AN-124s using external cranes and unique loading equipment that was developed by Antonov Airlines’ in-house engineers.

DHL Global Forwarding chartered the Ukrainian-headquartered carrier to undertake the moves.

“The flights were a great charter project that we carried out together with Antonov Airlines professionally and to the fullest customer satisfaction,” said Christopher Klein, senior manager global charters, DHL Global Forwarding.

“In the past few months there have been a number of challenges to master, most recently a snowstorm on the US east coast, which meant we had to change the destination airport at short notice.”