Antonov Airlines secures special permission to land in Gabon’s second city and transports two crushing machines only nine days after the project was agreed.

Antonov Airlines has completed a flight carrying mining equipment from East Midlands Airport (EMA) in the UK to Franceville Airport (MVB) in Gabon in nine days, facilitated by in-house Antonov Airlines loading technology.

In order to guarantee precision and efficiency, ground staff at EMA used Antonov Airline’s purpose-built ramp positioned at an angle of only three degrees to load two tracked crushing machines, and the entire process was completed using remote control.

“One of our AN-124-100 ‘Ruslan’ aircraft flew two 18 m-long crushing machines to be used in mining operations in Gabon, on behalf of our long-standing customer, Bolloré Logistics,” said Paul Bingley, Commercial Manager of Antonov Airlines.

“The project turn-around was only nine days and in that timeframe, we managed to deliver a cost-effective solution by securing special permission for landing in Gabon’s second city, Franceville, which is 600 km closer to the mine than the capital, Libreville.”

The total combined weight of the two machines was nearly 70 tonnes, and precision was vital during the loading process.

“We only required one flight for this project as the hold length of the AN-124-100 measures in at just over 36 m, making it the perfect fit for two vehicles which are 18.68 m in length,” said Chris Grigentin, Bolloré Logistics, Director of Industrial Projects France.

“We partner regularly with Antonov Airlines whose aircraft provide more than sufficient space for carrying oversized equipment, and this is yet another job completed in excellent time. We look forward to working with Antonov Airlines on future projects.”

Antonov Airlines has worked with Bolloré Logistics on several outsize projects in the past and continues to closely cooperate in the air shipment of oversized and super heavy cargoes.