World’s largest aircraft transports 10m face masks to Germany

AN-225 brings PPE to Leipzig/Halle

The world’s largest aircraft — the An-225 (Mriya) — has carried out a flight for Germany’s armed forces carrying more than 10m face masks to Germany as part of the country’s coronavirus relief efforts.

The six engine aircraft landed at Leipzig/Halle Airport on Monday morning, from China, as part of an overall project to transport 25m masks.

An Antonov An-124 had already landed at Leipzig/Halle Airport on Sunday. It arrived from Shanghai, having landed in Almaty (Kazakhstan) en route, carrying 8.3m masks.

Both aircraft belong to the Ukrainian airline, Antonov Airlines. The flights are co-ordinated by Antonov Salis, which is based at Leipzig/Halle Airport, and cargo was handled by PortGround.

Götz Ahmelmann, chief executive of airport operator Mitteldeutsche Flughafen, said: “Leipzig/Halle Airport occupies a key position in supplying the population with essential medical equipment in the battle against the corona pandemic. As Germany’s second-largest cargo airport, we’ve already been able to safely and reliably handle humanitarian aid flights with hundreds of tonnes of aid materials during the last few weeks – and we’ll continue doing so.”

In addition to the Antonov aircraft, about 15 more planes have landed at Leipzig/Halle Airport with medical equipment since the end of March.

The An-225 has carried out several coronavirus related flights. After being out of action for 18 months it twice broke the record for the most amount of cargo carried onboard in April.

Firstly it carried 1,000 cu m of personal protective equipment (PPE) on behalf of KGHM from Tianjin to Warsaw. Then around a week later it transported 150 metric tonnes of  PPE from China to Paris Vatry for a private company.

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]