One of Antonov Airlines’ huge AN-124-100 needed no more than 39 minutes to fly urgently needed equipment from Chile to Argentina. The operation earns an entry in the Guiness Book of World Records.
Santiago de Chile and Mendoza in Argentina are 357 kilometers apart – when going by road crossing the Andes. But, the linear distance between both cities measures only 171 kilometers. Thus,
linking both places by air makes much sense instead of going by car or taking a van when it comes to the fast transportation of goods.
Trucking was no option
In this case, however, time and distance weren’t the obstacles, leading to the AN-124 charter. It was the road conditions in the region which were too hazardous due to adverse weather, making any transport of heavy loads by truck far too risky. Confronted with this situation, broker Hunt & Palmer Cargo Charters decided to opt for air carriage of two mining filtration units urgently needed in Mendoza.
The consignment which weighted a total of 24 tons, included two large industrial piping filtration units, measuring 12 meters in length, four meters wide, and approximately 3.6 meters high.
"The AN-124-100 was the only aircraft that could accommodate our cargo,” explains Dan Litten of UK-based broker Hunt & Palmer. He went on to say: “The end user could not risk transporting the cargo by truck, since roads in this part of the Andean region were nearly impassable.”
AN-124 was available
Given this situation, the charter broker approached the London office of Antonov Airlines to find out if they had adequate capacity available for getting the job done quickly.
After the local authorities had approved the flight, Antonov’s big AN-124-100 took off from Aeropuerto de Santiago in Chile for its 39 minute hop to Mendoza in neighboring Argentina.
“No special adjustment or external equipment was required for what was one of the shortest flights we have operated in a decade," said Martin Banns, Commercial Executive, ANTONOV Airlines.
"We were able to lift the cargo straight off the trailers with the aircraft’s internal cranes.”
Banns wrapped the mission up by stating: “We tackled the urgency of the request efficiently and swiftly."
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