Russia’s Atran revives An-12 operations while 737s remain in limbo

Atran Airlines B737

Russian air cargo operator Atran has re-introduced Antonov An-12 freighter services, after nearly a decade, in response to uncertainty over its Boeing 737 fleet.

The airline says an An-12BP, carrying its livery scheme, conducted a September 12 flight from Moscow Zhukovsky to Norilsk with 12 tonnes of consumer goods.

Atran general director Dmitry Sorokin says the airline stopped using the four-engined An-12s in 2014.

While Atran has a fleet of 737 freighters, Sorokin says the carrier has turned back to the An-12 “pending the outcome of negotiations with lessors” regarding the 737s.

Atran has spent nearly six months preparing for the An-12 operations, having had to search for a suitable aircraft, train a crew, and conduct work to meet airworthiness requirements.

“We have experience and competence in operating this type of aircraft,” says Sorokin. “We plan to provide the northern remote regions with vital cargo and products and build a route network depending on seasonal demand.”

He says this network will feature such cities as Naryan-Mar, Khatanga, Novy Urengoy and Anadyr.

Atran is part of the Volga-Dnepr Group which specialises in outsize freight transport using Antonov An-124s and Ilyushin Il-76s.

Volga-Dnepr Group ownership transferred to management

VDG confirms suspension of AirBridgeCargo and Atran operations

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