The No.1 French platform for charter or humanitarian flights, Paris-Vatry airport made use of its cargo processing capacity and its expertise to welcome the Antonov AN-225, as part of an operation to import masks and protective healthcare equipment.
This exceptional and unique aircraft is the longest and heaviest in the world. Intended for goods transport and equipped with 6 turbofan engines and 32 wheels, it can transport up to 250 tonnes of cargo.
Departing from Tianjin (China) and after stop-over in Almaty and Baku, Mriya landed at Paris-Vatry on 19/04/2020 at 10:45am, with nearly 150 tonnes of cargo on board (healthcare equipment and masks) for a private company. After unloading, Mriya will leave the airport the following morning.
Vatry was chosen for this operation for several reasons.
- The quality of its infrastructure, which allows it to accommodate this type of unusual aircraft due to its 3,860 metre-long runway (one of the longest in Europe);
- Its cargo-minded configuration allows goods to reach cargo terminals and to be reloaded into trucks very quickly;
- Paris-Vatry’s expert staff is very familiar with this type of operation, and is totally dedicated to this unprecedented situation.
Since 30 March 2020, Paris-Vatry has received and processed 1 to 3 jumbo cargo flights per day (Antonov AN124 or B747 Cargo) containing masks and healthcare equipment for various clients (French Government, local authorities or private companies). These flights mainly come from China. As of 18 April, and including the cargo from the AN 225, the airport will have processed the arrival of nearly 134 million masks. To be able to offer an outstanding service, the platform reorganised its schedules and all its staff (logistics, administration and fire service) are fully committed to ensure the different operations are a success. Specific health measures were taken to process operations with minimum risk.