German armed forces back from Afghanistan thanks to AN-124

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The German army is transporting its equipment back to Germany from its international mission in Afghanistan via Leipzig/Halle Airport. The process started on Tuesday May 18 with two helicopters, which arrived on board an AN-124 cargo plane.

The freight aircraft are being unloaded by PortGround, a subsidiary of Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG, which specialises in handling aircraft and cargo.

“Handling outsized cargo is one of our core skill areas. Whether this involves helicopters, machine parts, vehicles or underground train vehicles, all the customers at the airport benefit from our many years of experience,” says Alexander König, managing director of PortGround.

The transport aircraft is part of the fleet belonging to the Ukrainian airline, Antonov Airlines. Two AN-124-100 planes have already been permanently stationed at Leipzig/Halle as part of the SALIS project (Strategic Airlift International Solution) since March 2006.

LEJ is one of the cargo airports in the world that is registering most dynamic growth and it set a new record in 2020 by handling more than 1.38 million tonnes of freight. The volume of cargo increased by more than 22% to around 495,315 tonnes during the first four months of this year. Overall, about 60 cargo airlines fly to the airport and serve a network of routes that covers more than 200 destinations around the globe.