The world’s largest aircraft enters cargo operation

Antonov An-225

The world’s largest aircraft enters cargo operation. The aircraft has first taken into flight after being grounded for 18 months in October 2018 as part of its maintenance and upgrade program and now assigned to bring cargo to Europe from China. The aircraft is part of Antonov airlines which is a special cargo transport division of the Ukrainian company which has seven An-124 aircraft and an An-22 turboprop.

It flew a test flight of its base at Kiev Airport at the end of last month. The aircraft is the worlds largest with 6 engines, 290 foot wingspan and is a 600,000 pound cargo aircraft nicknamed ‘Mriya’. The aircraft can also carry a cargo capacity of 250 tons.

Modernisation and testing

The aircraft took off from its base at Kiev and flew over rural areas for around 2 hours. This was grounded in October 2018 to undergo upgradation and maintenance. Antonov has said it has installed an Ukraine made power plant control system on the aircraft and the aircraft was tested for that.

The world's largest aircraft enters cargo operation
The world’s largest aircraft is entering cargo operations. Photo: Antonov Company

The An-225 is being deployed for cargo serves along with the smaller An-125 aircraft. The An-125 aircraft has been deployed to carry and transport cargo from China to Europe.

This aircraft can carry around 250 tons of cargo which is a maximum for an aircraft and will prove useful during times like this when essential commodities have to be transported.


Cargo operatios

The world’s largest aircraft enters cargo operation.The aircraft has now been assigned to fly between Poland and China to bring medical supplies to Europe. Around 7 million masks, hundred thousand coveralls and hundred thousand helmets will be aboard the aircraft while returning from China.

Antonov An-124 is being used for transportation of cargo
Antonov has 5xAn-125 aircraft which are being used for transportation of cargo from China to Europe. Photo: Antonov Airlines

Rise in need of medical supplies has aircraft being charted to bring in medical supplies from China to Europe. Antonov airlines has already deployed 5 of its smaller An-125 aircraft and this will be its 6th aircraft to be deployed for cargo operations.

The AN-225 is the only aircraft of its prototype which was then developed by Soviet Union. After performing a series of test flight the aircraft departed from Kiev to Almaty and will then head to China. The cargo supplies will then be delivered to Poland from China.

The other aircraft in its fleet, the An-125 has competed close to 6 missions in transporting medical supplies from China to Slovakia, Romania, Poland and other European countries.



The operation of the world’s largest aircraft cannot come at a better time. As passenger flights are operating at a minimum due to travel ban or restrictions airlines are using their grounded aircraft for cargo transportation.

For the past few weeks we have seen airlines such as Etihad, Emirates, Lufthansa and several other airlines are using their passenger aircraft for cargo services.

Antonov Airlines using the world’s biggest aircraft will help aid the global supply of cargo as it carries almost twice the amount of cargo a B777 aircraft would.

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