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26 year old iconic plane

Polet Airlines An-124 is up for sale

Cargo aircraft are in great demand due to the Corona crisis. Now one of the few Antonov An-124s has become available.

Tis Meyer/

Antonov An-124

Cargo aircraft are currently in high demand. Since many passenger planes cannot take off and carry cargo due to the Coronavirus pandemic, airlines need cargo planes. Now one of the world’s largest is up for grabs.

According to Russian media reports, the insolvency administrator of Polet Airlines is auctioning off an Antonov An-124 in September for a starting price of 583.9 million roubles or the equivalent of 6.76 million euros. If no buyer can be found at this price, a minimum price of 525.5 million roubles or 6.09 million euros is required for the purchase.

An-124 is 26 years old

Polet Airlines was founded in 1988 and offered both international cargo and some continental passenger services. In 2014, the airline was forced to stop operations when it became insolvent. In 2016 the company was officially bankrupt.

Of the six An-124s that Polet once operated, two went to the Russian Air Force and two to Volga-Dnepr. The aircraft, which is now for sale, was built in 1994 and registered RA-82075. Polet has not used it since 2012. It is not clear what the condition of the machine is.

Sale failed in 2018

In 2018 the huge freighter had already been up for sale, but there was no buyer. At that time, the price was significantly higher at 833 million roubles or – according to today’s exchange rate – 9.66 million euros. The liquidator may be hoping for better results as a result of the Corona crisis.

Of the only 55 Antonov An-124s built, a maximum of 30 are still active, in the civil sector with Volga-Dnepr and Antonov Airlines. One aircraft also flies for Maximus Air Cargo from Abu Dhabi, operated by Ukraine Air Alliance from Ukraine. The remaining An-124s are flying for the Russian Air Force. Libyan Arab Air Cargo also has an An-124 in storage, for which maintenance plans were drawn up last autumn.

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