An-225 Mriya takes part in fighting coronavirus crisis

Published: Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The Antonov An-225 Mriya, the world’s largest plane, started participating in the coronavirus crisis effort. The giant completed its first commercial flight between Tianjin, China, and Warsaw, Poland, transporting medical equipment, including 7 million masks.

The 290-foot wingspan plane powered by six engines took off from its base in Kiev Hostomel Airport (GML), Ukraine, and made a refuel stopover in Almaty International Airport (ALA), Kazakhstan, on April 11, 2020. The next day, it continued its journey to Tianjin International Airport (TSN), China.

There, it took more than fifteen hours to fill the cargo hold of Mriya (UR-82060) with medical supplies, including 7 million masks, according to the Polish company KGHM, which chartered the aircraft. With a MTOW of 600 metric tons and a hold volume of 1,300 cubic meters, the unique plane is the perfect asset for such relief efforts.

With another stopover in Almaty, Mriya eventually landed in Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW), Poland, on April 14, 2020.
That new mission was the first flight for the An-225 since the end of a two-year modernization campaign. The first test flight was completed as recently as March 25, 2020.

Antonov An-225 Mriya, generally considered the largest aircraft in the world, was spotted soaring the skies over Ukraine on March 25, 2020.

The Antonov An-225 Mriya joins the five smaller An-124-100 heavy transporters that are already operating humanitarian cargo flights between China and Europe to fight the epidemic.

Other European manufacturers dedicated resources to the ongoing effort: Airbus set up an air bridge between Europe and China to bring protective facemasks and other medical equipment to be spread among France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Spain. To carry out this mission, the manufacturer allocated an A330-800, an A330 MRTT, an A400M and the Beluga fleet.

An Airbus A350-1000 test aircraft took off from Toulouse, France, on April 3, 2020, towards Tianjin, China, where it will collect protective masks that will be brought back to Europe. It is the third cargo flight operated by the manufacturer since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.

Similarly, Dassault Aviation put two Falcon business jets at the disposal of the French government. They were tasked with transporting the medical personnel that accompanied patients from Paris to the less affected French hospitals.