An-124 at Eindhoven Airport

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A rare visitor at Eindhoven Air Base is the Antonov An-124 Ruslan. This large Ukrainian made transport aircraft has been flown to Eindhoven several times in the past to often pick up or deliver heavy cargo. The planes are always special to see because of their enormous size. Late on the Sunday afternoon on August 23, 2020, another An-124 would land at Eindhoven. The aircraft in question belonged to the company Antonov Airlines, which is part of the Antonov Design Bureau. Antonov Airlines is a Ukrainian cargo airline, which is a division of the airline company Antonov. The company operates international charter services in the oversized freight market. The home base of Antonov Airlines is Hostomel Airport which is located near Kiev in Ukraine. The company also owns the only completed Antonov An-225 Mriya, which is the world's largest operational cargo aircraft. The airline was founded in 1989 and started operations through a marketing agent agreement with Air Foyle to market the Antonov An-124 Ruslan cargo charters worldwide. This relationship between these two companies ended in June 2006. In the same month, Antonov Airlines and another major player in the global specialized air cargo business, Volga-Dnepr Airlines from Russia, formed a joint venture. This cooperation existed under the name “Ruslan International” in which each company has a 50% interest. The joint operation of the Ukrainian and Russian transport fleets allows them to share the combined commercial fleet of seventeen An-124-100 aircraft (seven of which are from Antonov Airlines). In 2017, Antonov Airlines opened a UK based office at London Stansted Airport, with a first flight in February by an Antonov An-124 Ruslan.

Kind Regards, Alex van Noye

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