Antonov Airlines utilised one of its AN-22 Antei heavy lift aircraft to deliver military helicopters and spare parts from Spain to Iraq.

The carrier performed two flights from Madrid to Baghdad on behalf of DSV Spain, the logistics operator for the Spanish Ministry of Defence.

The Antei benefits from a 4.4 m-high cargo door, which meant that the helicopters could be loaded aboard without having to dismantle the rotors. Coordination and supervision of the flights was undertaken by Cargoplanet Spain. Staff from Cargoplanet and DSV travelled with the cargo to and from Baghdad to ensure the operation went smoothly.

Vitaliy Shost, first deputy director of Antonov Airlines, was pleased to announce that the AN-22 is back in the commercial market for outsized cargo transport after scheduled maintenance.

“A few decades ago, the appearance of the AN-22 Antei opened the era of the wide-body transport aircraft. This aircraft is still the largest turboprop air freighter in the world and its services are still in demand in the global airlift market,” he said.

The AN-22 Antei can also utilise paved and unpaved runways.