Volga-Dnepr Airlines has organised delivery of the world’s largest commercial communications satellite aboard an An-124-100.
The Airbus Defence and Space-manufactured Inmarsat-6 F1, also known as I-6 F1, was transported from Toulouse in France to Kitakyushu in Japan ahead of its launch there.
The complex delivery was completed in cooperation with Bolloré Logistics Space. Initial project discussions began in 2019 with operations planning to start in September 2021.
Although the total cargo weight was not an issue as it did not exceed 70 tonnes, the dimensions of the satellite container were close to cargo compartment sizes, Volga-Dnepr said. The loading process was accomplished by using both internal and external cranes.
“Not only does the completion of the I-6 F1 logistics project strengthen our footprint in aerospace sector but it also brings our cooperation with Kitakyushu City Government/Fukuoka Prefectural Government to the next level as we see real actions aimed at the enhancement of air cargo infrastructure in the airport to be able to handle such complex shipments,” said Volga-Dnepr group director APAC development Dmitry Vorontsov.
“This year we have seen a significant increase in the aerospace sector amid the revival of industry projects and the development of regional space programmes. Volga-Dnepr Airlines has so far transported over 3,000 tonnes of aerospace associated cargo and expects more projects in the pipeline.”