The AN-225, world’s largest plane, to help with COVID-19 relief flights

by Aaron Hilsz-Lothian
April 13, 2020

The Antonov An-225 Mriya has been tasked with operating COVID-19 support flights, which will see the monstrous cargo aircraft haul medical supplies to various virus hotspots around the world says website

Following an 18 month break for some modernisation work, the world’s largest and heaviest specialised cargo aircraft is back in the skies to fight COVID-19.

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The six-engine monster departed Kiev on the 11th of April and will fly to China to pick up medical supplies before being flown to Warsaw, Poland.

KGHM, a Polish multinational that operates in metallurgy and mining, chartered the aircraft to help support the country with its relief efforts. In a social media post, KGHM said seven million masks, several hundred thousand coveralls and several hundred thousand helmets would be transported by the Ukrainian aircraft.

With a maximum takeoff weight of 640,000 kilograms, this task is a piece of cake for the aircraft, which also boasts a cargo hold volume of 1,300 metres cubed.

In addition to the Antonov An-225, five An-124s have been operating relief flights, all transporting humanitarian and medical goods to areas in need. Airlines have also joined the effort, putting empty passenger aircraft into use by converting them into temporary freighters.