Air Partner charters the giant Antonov 225 to fly aid to Japan

Friday 25, March 2011


Air Partner charters the giant Antonov 225 to fly aid to Japan


Air Partner is flying a further 145 tonnes of humanitarian aid and specialist relief equipment into Japan on the only Antonov 225 in service worldwide.


The giant freight aircraft, the largest in the world, was chartered by the company’s France-based freight team and departed for Tokyo Narita Airport late yesterday (Tuesday March 22) from Châteauroux Airport south of Paris.


Air Partner team members spent the weekend finalising the logistics following confirmation of the flight last Friday, and were on-site during loading to ensure a smooth and timely operation. The aircraft is carrying varied cargo including water, masks, protective suits, blankets, food, respirators and anti-radiation medication. Additionally, the load comprises a range of specialist equipment for relief teams such as pumps, compressors, generators, dosimeters (which measure an individual’s exposure to radiation), and radiometers (to measure the power of electromagnetic radiation).


The AN225 has been chartered by Air Partner in the past for other major contracts. For example, the company used the aircraft to fly helicopters from Toulouse to an event in Kuala Lumpur and to move a 14-carriage exhibition train from Hawaii to the USA for a German engineering company.


Richard Smith, Air Partner’s Freight Director, said: “It was very satisfying to secure use of the AN225 once again. The aircraft was ideal for the task as it allowed us to move the entire payload in one airlift which was commercially beneficial for the client. Following the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, Air Partner has been involved in assisting the Japanese relief effort from the outset. We flew one of the first relief and medical support teams into the region, as well as their equipment, and this latest flight is part of our on-going operations on behalf of governments, corporate companies and international charities.”


The AN225 is a rare sight. Originally designed to support Russia’s space programme, it can carry 250 tonnes of cargo, has a 290ft wingspan and is almost 50 per cent longer than a Boeing 747. 


In the last few weeks Air Partner has now moved:


  • More than 12,000 people
  • 445 tonnes of aid and relief kit
  • From or into Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, New Zealand and Japan



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