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Top 3 cargo charter aircrafts for aid and relief flights

Air Partner Cargo - 26 Nov 2018

Due to most aid & humanitarian flights having to fly to very remote and hostile areas of the world, not all aircrafts are considered suitable for these types of operations.

The most appropriate aircraft and one we generally recommend is the Antonov aircraft family which comprises of aircrafts such as the AN12, AN12, AN124 and AN225. This is primarily due to their self-handling abilities and the presence of an integrated crane onboard that supports a quick transaction of heavy or bulky relief goods. This especially helps with cargo transport operations in regions where airport infrastructure has been affected by a natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake.

Aid relief deliveries to remote and badly developed regions benefit from the high-mounted wings of the Antonov cargo aircraft which allow it to operate on unpaved runways.

The airlines that operate Antonov aircraft also have their very own loading and offloading equipment and crew, therefore, there are no issues when considering special flight times.


Antonov AN12

Cargo type: Medium volume: relief supplies up to 18 tons like water, food, medical equipment, medication, surviving kits, protective suits, blankets, food, respirators and anti-radiation medication, etc.

Range: max 2100 km

Max. volume (CBM): 90

Max. payload (t): 18

Door w x h (cm): 300 x 250

Cargo hold l x w x h (cm): 1382 x 295 x 260

The Antonov AN12 is a midrange cargo aircraft with a maximum load of 18 tons.This aircraft is usually selected due to the ramp-loading facility which allows easy access of cargo and off-loading using only forklifts. This ensures a quick turnaround in a country inundated with conflict. The aircraft is also suitable to fly to remote areas with short runways.

Example: Air Partner arranged cargo charter flights with the AN12 aircraft to deliver much needed medical supplies to two airports in Eastern Libya during the political unrests in 2015. The challenges faced included securing landing permissions and ensuring that the aircraft was adequately insured and prepared for operations into dangerous and volatile regions. Due to the extensive experience of our freight team all flights were operated successfully and on time.

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Antonov AN124

Cargo type: Heavy, high and large volume: big amounts of relief goods on pallets up to 120 tons like vehicles, portable hospitals, medical treatment facilities like ambulances, tents, generators, etc.

Range: max 4650 km

Max. volume (CBM): 1050

Max. payload (t): 120

Door w x h (cm): 640 x 440

Cargo hold l x w x h (cm): 3650 x 640 x 440

The Antonov AN124 remains one of the largest transport aircraft in the world. Its integrated 30-ton capacity crane onboard allows seamless loading of extreme heavy and outsized cargo. Its high-mounted wings allow it to operate on unpaved runways.

Examples: When Hurricane Irma and Maria were raging in the Caribbean in 2017, our freight team delivered essential cargo – such as generators, four-wheel drive vehicles, bottled water and humanitarian aid in an AN124 to Puerto Rico, Cuba and Guadeloupe.
The team also chartered two AN124 to deliver urgent relief supplies, such as water and meals ready to eat (MRE) to Guam in summer 2018 to prepare for Super Typhoon Mangkhut. This aircraft type has been chosen also to fly a wide array of supplies, equipment, vehicles and tools on several flights to Saipan to help re-build the island after Typhoon Yutu in late October.

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Antonov AN225

Cargo type: Heavy, high and huge volume: amount of supplies up to 250 tons, from general relief supplies to big vehicles like trucks, trains and helicopters, etc.

Range: max 4500 km

Max. volume (CBM): 1200

Max. payload (t): 250

Door w x h (cm): 640 x 440

Cargo hold l x w x h (cm): 4300 x 640 x 440

The AN225 has 6 engines and is the largest aircraft with the widest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service in the world. It is mainly used for special missions with extraordinary cargo.

Examples: Air Partner chartered an AN225 for the transportation of 145 tons of humanitarian aid and specialist relief equipment to Japan after the Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011. The AN225 was also chartered by the Air Partner freight team in the past for several major contracts such as; flying helicopters from Toulouse to an event in Kuala Lumpur and to move a 14-carriage exhibition train from Hawaii to the USA for a German engineering company.

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For more information about our humanitarian aid cargo services contact one of our dedicated charter experts: