July 5 - Air Charter Service has successfully completed the first charter of an IL-96 into Australia.

The aircraft, operated by Polet Airlines, flew from Liege in Belgium into Adelaide carrying a four and a half tonne slewing ring for a blast furnace. Its diameter of 3.68 m and the fact that it could not be tilted, meant that it was too large for a B747, and the IL-96 was the ideal aircraft for the job.

Stephen Fernandez, cargo charter manager ACS Hong Kong, said: "The IL-96 was the perfect aircraft for this charter, and we're delighted to be the first to operate into Australia with it. My client and I signed the contract only a few days ago, and between Polet and ACS we obtained all the relevant permissions in a very short space of time to get the aircraft moving as quickly as possible."