Elisabeth Cosmatos      Thu, 25/02/2021





this week we speak with Andriy Blagovisniy,

Commercial Director, Antonov Airlines, Ukraine




Andriy has been a part of ANTONOV Company since 1999. He holds a Specialist’s degree from the National Aerospace University of Ukraine and a Master’s degree from the Institute of International Relations of Kyiv National University.

From 1999 to 2006 he was Project Manager of the Marketing Department of ANTONOV Company. After that he was Commercial Executive of ANTONOV Airlines until 2014. He then became Acting Vice-President Sales of Ruslan International Ltd until 2015 and Vice-President Sales until 2016. Since 2017, Andriy is the Commercial Director of ANTONOV Airlines.


Tell us about Antonov Airlines. Who owns the company?

Antonov Airlines is the ANTONOV COMPANY's subdivision that specialises in international air cargo transportations.

ANTONOV COMPANY / Antonov Airlines is 100% state-owned company of Ukraine.

Where are your offices located?

Our headquarters are located in Kiev.

What is Antonov Airlines' specialty and service range?

Antonov Airlines specialises in the air transportations of outsized and super-heavy (up to 250 tonnes) project cargo worldwide.

More than 30 years after launching as the first company to offer the AN-124 commercially, Antonov Airlines continues to deliver air cargo solutions across the energy, oil & gas, industrial, aerospace, humanitarian, automotive and maritime sectors.

What is your current fleet arsenal consisted of?

The fleet consists of:

  • seven AN-124-100 Ruslan aircrafts, including two modified with payload up to 150 tonnes
  • one AN-22, the biggest turboprop aircraft in the world, with 60-tonne payload
  • one unique AN-225 Mriya with 250-tonne payload, which is the largest aircraft in the world
  • one AN-26-100 aircraft with max payload up to 5 tonnes
  • one AN-74T for transportation of 44 passengers

Tell us about projects that you have handled recently.

In June 2020, Antonov Airlines transported two maglev trains from Munich, Germany, to the end customer in Chengdu, China.

Transportation was possible only with AN-124-100 aircraft, due to the dimensions of the light weight high tech train sections at 12.6 x 2.8 x 3.7 m per section and a total payload of about 36 tonnes of the two sections.

The special loading / offloading technology and equipment designed by Antonov Airlines was used for transferring the train sections into the AN-124-100 aircraft.

In January 2021, Antonov Airlines delivered two compressors (each compressor weighed around 41 tonnes) from Pisa, Italy, to Navoi, Uzbekistan. Special loading equipment and a special transport frame were used.

On January 6th 2021, a rotor weighing 54 tonnes was transported to Accra, Ghana, after repair in India. The Mumbai-Accra flight required external cranes for loading and unloading, as well as unique loading equipment developed by Antonov.

This project was performed for and in cooperation with Rhenus Project Logistics Inc., also a member of THLG.

Which are the restrains of oversized airfreight?

Oversized airfreight is restrained by dimensions and volume of the cargo cabin of the aircraft and max possible payload on the route.

Max dimensions of the cargo cabins are below:

  • AN-124-100 Ruslan: L 36.5 x W 6.4 x H 4.4m (L 1437x W 251.9x H 173.2 in), max payload up to 150,000 kg
  • AN-225 Mriya: L 43.3 x W 6.4 x H 4.4m (L 1704.7 x W 251.9 x H 173.2 in), max payload up to 250,000 kg
  • AN-22 Antei: L 26.4 x W 4.4 x H 4.4m (L 1039.37 x W 173.2 x H 173.2 in), max payload up to 60,000 kg

Max payload on the route depends on few factors – length, strength and elevation of runway, temperature of air in all en-route airports and their alternative airports.

Calculating overall dimensions of the cargoes and payloads for their air shipment we also take into consideration dimensions and weights of the required loading equipment and special transport frames for smooth distribution of the load on the aircraft floor.

Are there any tricky points one should consider when planning a project cargo movement by air?

Yes, there are significant differences between requirements for preparation of the transportation of cargoes by road / sea and air that must be taken into consideration.

This is particularly true, when concerning the transport of dangerous goods (DG) or the cargoes containing DG.

Such cargo must be prepared in accordance with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations with all required documents.

Also, the cargo must withstand the max possible G-forces that can be reached during flight or in emergency situation.

The pieces should have enough lashing points in suitable positions for proper securing of the cargoes to avoid any movement during a flight and ensure safety.

The load from the piece on the AN-124 / AN-225 aircraft floor should not exceed 10 tonnes per linear meter. If the load exceeds this limit, then a special transport frame has to be used for smooth distribution of the concentrated load from the heavy piece on the aircraft floor.

Moreover, bottom surface of the cargo or special transport frame should be flat.

There are few types of loading equipment that are used for different types of oversized and heavy cargoes.

For proper preparation of the cargo for safe air transport by Antonov type aircraft, we provide to our customers the Cargo Preparation Guidelines with general information about the basic principles of loading of an AN-124 / AN-225 / AN-22 aircraft, as well as specific recommendations and instructions for each charter.

What is your advantage against competition? Why do you stand out?

Antonov Airlines is the most experienced airline in the world in operation of AN-124, introducing this aircraft type to the market almost 32 years ago.

  • We are the only operator of the certified AN-124-100M-150 aircraft with the increased payload of up to 150 tonnes
  • Sole owner and operator of the world's largest commercial aircraft – the AN-225
  • We operate the biggest turboprop aircraft in the world AN-22, the only wide-body plane that can take off and land on the ground without a runway and deliver cargoes to remote locations
  • Antonov Airlines can transport cargoes weighing up to 250 tonnes that other companies cannot. That’s why our slogan is: No other name carries more weight
  • Antonov Airlines has full support from the ANTONOV Design Bureau, when required for developing unique loading / offloading technology for super-heavy single pieces into Antonov aircraft
  • ‘Open Skies’ bilateral air services agreement between Ukraine and USA allows our airline to transport cargoes, including general cargoes, without passing the procedure of non-objection from US carriers
  • We are the only airline to have a Flight Manager on each aircraft, providing a dedicated point of contact during loading and offloading of cargo and delivering global reach with personal touch
  • Antonov Airlines cooperates with and has full support from Ukrainian holders of Type certificates for both AN-124 and AN-225 aircraft, keeping their engines properly maintained, and extending the life time of the aircraft frames and the engines for safe fleet operation

What made you join the industry?

It happened historically. Antonov Airlines was established in 1989 and since that time started the commercial operation of AN-124 aircraft, creating the market’s segment of air transportations of oversized and super-heavy cargoes and developed it within more than 30 years already.

Antonov Airlines is the leader in the market of AN-124 transportations.

What was the impact that COVID-19 brought to your business?

It has been difficult, but it has also been a very busy period for Antonov Airlines. Since March 2020, all of our fleet has been involved in the air transport of medicine and humanitarian cargoes from China to other countries worldwide.

COVID-19 brought additional challenges to our operations, such as strict restrictions regarding the entrance of the crew for rest in many countries. As as result, this had an impact on the routes, as we had to fly via airports that would allow crew rest. Also, we had to arrange crew changes, delivering the slip crew using special passenger charters.

Who should be approached in Antonov Airlines for inquiries?

The Sales team of Antonov Airlines will be happy to receive your requests to the email: sales@antonov-airlines.aero or by phone at +380-44-4546106.