Antonov Airlines’ Mriya steals the spotlight at Ukraine independence celebrations

By Rachelle Harry

Image source: Volga-Dnepr Group

Antonov Airlines’ heavylift ‘Mriya’ aircraft was recently involved in a record-breaking event, as Ukraine — where the carrier is headquartered — celebrated 30 years of independence.

The AN-225, which including fuel weighed 328 tonnes, was pulled a distance of 4.3 m by eight Ukrainian strongmen in 73 seconds — setting a national record.

The aircraft-pulling took place two days after Ukraine’s 30th Independence Day air show celebrations on August 24, which were headlined by Antonov Airlines.

Andriy Blagovisniy, commercial director of Antonov Airlines, commented: “The record was set at our Kyiv-Antonov home airfield by eight of the strongest athletes in Ukraine and was certified as a record-breaking move by representatives of the National Register of Records of the country.”

“Even after more than 30 years of service, Mriya — which means dream — is still keeping her spot in setting both national and world records.”

In the same week the AN-225 Mriya joined other aircraft for a fly-by over the main streets of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv as part of Independence Day celebrations.

Dmytro Antonov, chief pilot and captain, who flew the AN-255 during the fly-by, said: “The AN-225 flight over the centre of the capital was one of the highlights of this event because Mriya is the pride of Ukraine and the largest plane in the world; she impressed everyone watching her demonstration flight.”

The Mriya was recently put back into commercial service to help with capacity shortages brought about by the pandemic.

Antonov Airlines’ fleet includes seven AN-124-100 aircraft, two of which have been modified to accommodate up to 150 tonnes; a unique 250-tonne payload AN-225 Mriya, which is the largest aircraft in the world; a 60-tonne payload AN-22; an AN-74; and AN-26 aircraft.

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