In a statement, the Ukrainian government announced that it has fired Mr Dmitry Kiva - the head of the Antonov Design Bureau at Kiev-based Antonov Airlines.
Mr Kiva had almost full control over the Ukrainian AN-124 sales program and was seen as being one of the key lobbyists for a close cooperation with Russia on the AN-148, AN-70 and update of the
It is interesting to note that the joint test program between Russia and the Ukraine for the AN-70 has been completed and plans were for a serial production of the aircraft for the air forces of both countries. This project has apparently also now been cancelled by the new Ukrainian government.
CargoForwarder Global understands that Mr Kiva was also a close confidant and working partner with Volga-Dnepr Airlines who have put much faith and effort into the production of an updated AN-124 transporter.
It is today unclear as to who, if anybody, can fill that gap.
Close ties with Russian colleagues
How closely the Antonov Design Bureau helmsman’s activities are intermeshed with the interests of the Russian aviation industry was vividly demonstrated to a broad public last October at the Moscow-held Aerospace Salon MAKS. There, Kiva and the Governor of the (Russian) Ulyanovsk Region Sergey Morozov signed a long-term agreement to push after-sales services for Antonov’s various aircraft programs ahead and foster joint initiatives for the production of future passenger and cargo planes.
At the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget last June Kiva had strongly advocated the launch of a modernized Antonov-124 freighter program. With its payload capability of 150 tons, “the new An-124 will be a transporter hardly any other aircraft will surpass in foreseeable times,” Kiva emphasized. He strongly supported political initiatives to assemble the An-124 successor at the Ulyanovsk-based manufacturer Aviastar. “All we still need to get this project off the ground is an endorsement from the Russian government,” he concluded. However, with Russia’s occupation of the Crimea Peninsula and Putin’s blatant striving for setting foot in the eastern parts of the Ukraine these plans have meanwhile gone to ashes.
John Mc Donagh / Heiner Siegmund