Antonov brings 85 tonnes of COVID-19 test kits
On Saturday morning, 25 December, the first of a probable four Antonov 124s landed at Cologne Bonn Airport at around 9 am. The plane came from Zhengzhou in China and had more than 2.8 million COVID-19 test kits on board. The 85 tonnes of covid lateral flow tests on 540 Europalettes were loaded directly onto eleven trucks standing by on the airport apron.
“We’re delighted that as a central logistics hub we can make a contribution so that urgently needed COVID-19 test kits can quickly get to their destinations. It is particularly in times of crisis like these that the major role Cologne Bonn Airport plays in supplying people and companies can be seen,” said Johan Vanneste, President and CEO of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH.
On Tuesday, 28 December, and probably into the first week of January more Antonov 124 cargo planes carrying COVID-19 test kits are expected.
The Antonov 124 was originally designed in the late 1970s as a large transport plane for the Russian armed forces. The aim was to develop a plane with a large payload. The plane is now mainly used for charter cargo flights. The Antonov 124 can take off from and land on rough runways and hard-packed frozen snow. One particular advantage of the Antonov 124 is that it is very easy to load and unload. This is possible because the nose can be opened hydraulically and lowered by retracting the nose landing gear, as a result of which the plane can be loaded directly from the ground using a flat ramp.