The Antonov AN-22 Antei has completed its renewal programme and performed its first commercial flights from Switzerland to the UAE.
The AN-22 carried a coil reef for charterer Karpeles/DB Schenker on behalf of the shipper, Hyundai from Zurich to Abu Dhabi with a refuelling stop in Tbilisi, Georgia. Antonov engineers designed a special transport frame to distribute the 31.5 tonne load across the aircraft floor.
The company says the coil’s dimensions of 461x352x417 cm meant it could only be loaded in the AN-22, AN-124-100 or AN-225, with the AN-22 proving the most economical solution.
Antonov executive director, Konstantin Lushakov says this was a very important flight for reintroducing the AN-22 into the commercial market. “Antonov Airlines is ready to perform new flights for the delivery of oversize and heavy cargoes around the world, proposing the logistics solutions to our customers worldwide on basis of the AN-124-100, the An-225 and now the AN-22 Antei aircraft.”
Karpeles Flight Services Asia Pacific regional manager, Patrick Senn says: “The procedures at both airports in Zurich and Abu Dhabi were running like a clockwork and without any fail or delays. An excellent showcase for any upcoming AN-22 charter flights.”
The AN-22 is the biggest turboprop aircraft in the world and was demonstrated at the 1965 Paris Air Show, and the aircraft used for this flight was constructed in 1974, performing commercial flights until 2009. Antonov completed renewal work on this AN-22 in August 2016.