Antonov Airlines relocates to Germany

17 May, 06:26 PM
An-225 Mriya on the airport in Gostomel (Photo:ANTONOV Company / Facebook)

An-225 Mriya on the airport in Gostomel (Photo:ANTONOV Company / Facebook)

Ukrainian air freight carrier Antonov Airlines has moved its base of operations from Hostomel to Leipzig, Germany, Ukrainian news outlet Liga.net reported on May 17.

Antonov will continue to operate its remaining fleet of five heavy cargo An-124-100 Ruslan airplanes from an airfield in Leipzig.

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The move will involve relocating the airline’s spare parts stockpiles and key employees to Germany.

Prior to Russia’s invasion, Antonov Airlines operated out of the Antonov airfield in Hostomel, near Kyiv. The site was a focal point of Moscow’s attempts to take Kyiv, and has suffered extensive damage in the ensuing clashes and artillery barrages.

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The company will now prioritize servicing the needs of the Ukrainian government and NATO’s and EU’s SALIS (Strategic Airlift Interim Solution) requests.

Antonov expects to carry out 385 flights and 1,270 landings in 2022.

On Feb. 27, state-run enterprise Ukroboronprom said that Russian troops have destroyed An-225 Mriya at Hostomel’s Antonov airfield.

According to one of Antonov Airlines pilots, the initial proposal to relocate all company planes to Leipzig was made on Jan. 26. Whistleblowers have alleged the company was negligent in not moving the Mriya aircraft to a safer location.

On March 29, Ukroboronprom suspended – and eventually fired – Antonov Airlines’ chief, Serhiy Bychkov.

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