Within the last few days, Charlotte Airport received a rare visitor – Twice. Antonov Airlines, a subsidiary of Antonov Industries, sent their AN-124 aircraft for chartered freight operations.
The AN-124 is one of the largest cargo planes in the world, and is often used to do special transports of oversized or overweight parts that are urgently needed around the globe. Due to the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the Ukrainian airline currently manages and operates their fleet out of Leipzig-Halle Airport (LEJ) in Germany.
The first flight arrived late at night on August 12th, to drop off a spare engine for American Airlines 777 aircraft. The widebody was urgently needed back in service by American Airlines, and chartering the Antonov Aircraft cut several days of downtime from their 777 operation.
The second flight arrived in the afternoon of August 18th to pick up gas turbine parts for Siemens Energy (at the former Westinghouse plant) to fly to the UAE.
This is the first time in almost 2 years that Charlotte was visited by an Antonov 124 aircraft. Previously, Volga-Dnepr, a Russian cargo operator, operated a few flights to and from Charlotte, but these are currently not possible due to sanctions against Russia.