Azerbaijani freight carrier Silk Way Airlines took advantage of this year’s Farnborough Air Show to announce an agreement with the Russian leasing company Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) and United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) to lease an An-124-100. The heavy-lift freighter was previously operated by Russia’s Polet Airlines, which had its operators’ certificate revoked in October 2015.
The aircraft is scheduled for delivery in early 2017, according to Russian Aviation Insider. “The aircraft will be operated on charter routes. Such are in demand for carrying special goods for programs in Afghanistan and Iraq,” said the carrier’s president, Zaur Akhundov. The massive jet is also well suited for use in the country’s oil and gas sector.
Silk Way also left the door open for the acquisition of a second An-124-100, with Akhundov telling media present at the airshow that, “there should be a minimum of two of each type of aircraft in our fleet.” The Antonov will join Silk Way’s fleet of Ilyushin IL-76 and An-12 freighters, allowing the carrier to take on larger shipments than its existing fleet is able to handle, said Akhundov.
The aircraft will be serviced in Ulyanovsk, Russia, which Akhundov called, an “excellent place for maintenance.” Routine procedures before delivery will be carried out there as well.