February 21 - Antonov Airlines has carried out its first charter operation from its new UK headquarters at London Stansted Airport, transporting a British-manufactured helicopter.

The helicopter, measuring almost 4.4 m high, travelled from the UK to Southeast Asia on one of the airline's seven AN-124-100 freighters.

Paul Bingley, commercial manager, Antonov Airlines, organised the charter and said: "It is a wonderful coincidence that one of the UK office's first operations should take place on its doorstep.

"Such close proximity allowed us, not only to successfully test our specially-designed loading equipment, but also to work much more closely with our customer."

The helicopter was loaded at the Diamond Hangar at London Stansted Airport, UK, which became the company's new home following the dissolution of its joint venture with Volga-Dnepr, Ruslan International, as HLPFI reported here.