deugro’s air chartering division has handled the transport of oversized compressor equipment from Germany to the USA using an Antonov AN-124.

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An initial plan involved moving the equipment by sea but, due to the impact of Covid-19 on industrial production in Europe, the completion of the unit was delayed by several months. To maintain the delivery and installation schedule, the compressor needed to be transported to the jobsite immediately after fabrication. 

deugro’s experts identified an air charter solution using an AN-124 as the optimum method to transport the cargo, allowing flexibility to plan the flight date in accordance with the cargo readiness date, including nominating the airport of destination closest to the production site,” said Tobias M. Schultz, executive vice president of deugro group.

Pavel Kuznetsov, head of air chartering for deugro, added: “For this project, we were able to secure the AN-124 based on an empty ferry leg. This allowed us to reduce the charter price for our client by about 20 percent, which is a significant cost reduction if you are talking about a full charter on the world’s second-largest cargo aircraft.”

As the unit was originally prepared for ocean transportation, the position of the lifting lugs meant it was not possible to load the cargo on to the aircraft using its onboard crane. To overcome this, the deugro team arranged a mobile crane as well as a loading ramp to load the cargo at Germany’s Cologne Bonn Airport. The same method was used to offload the compressor at its destination, the USA’s Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport.