Ruslan International – the company which manages and markets the combined Antonov An-124 fleets of its shareholders Antonov Airlines and Volga Dnepr Airlines – has carried a vital shipment of airport cargo handling equipment from Amsterdam to Cebu, Philippines. The equipment is assisting in the ongoing processing of international relief cargo, following the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.
Largest item of the 85 tonne load was a dual-platform maindeck loader, capable of handling aircraft pallets weighing up to 15 tonnes. Also contained in the shipment were slave pallets, dollies, baggage tugs, a forklift truck and pickup trucks.
The equipment, located in Amsterdam, was purchased largely with funds raised by the UK Disasters Emergency Committee’s highly-successful appeal. The flight was operated for Air Partner plc.
Some of the areas worst affected by Typhoon Haiyan lie between Cebu City on Mactan Island, and Tacloban City on Leyte Island. As Tacloban’s airport is too small to accommodate widebody aircraft, Cebu International Airport was chosen as the hub for arriving aid flights.
With a dramatic increase in inbound aircraft movements at Cebu, including many wide-body freighters, and daily cargo levels of around 800 tonnes, the airport needed additional ground handling equipment to speed up the flow of aid into the disaster area.
Says Ruslan International’s Commercial Executive, Paul Bingley: “Due to the size and characteristics of the main-deck loader, the An124 was the only aircraft capable of carrying it. By moving it from Amsterdam to Cebu, the processing of urgently-needed aid cargo has effectively been doubled.”