September 28, 2015: The world's first Antonov AN-70 cargo aircraft visited Leipzig/Halle Airport for the first time on September 26.
The Ukrainian transport aircraft made a stopover from Istres in France before flying on to its home base at Gostomel Airport, Kiev.
The four-engine plane with counter-rotating propellers can transport up to 47 tonnes of freight. It is almost 41 meters long and has a maximum takeoff weight of 135 tonnes.
With an annual throughput of more than 910,700 tonnes in 2014, Leipzig/Halle Airport is the fifth largest cargo hub in Europe. For the first eight months of 2015, cargo volume grew 8.1 percent to 640,000 tonnes.
The airport is DHL's European hub and also home base for Aerologic, its joint venture with Lufthansa.
Two Antonov 124-100 aircraft have been based at Leipzig/Halle since 2006 as part of NATO's Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS) for the movement of outsize cargo. The Russian and Ukrainian Antonov aircraft are being used to meet shortfalls in the Alliance's strategic airlift capabilities, pending deliveries of Airbus A400M aircraft.
The consortium includes 12 NATO nations (Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the United Kingdom) and two partner nations (Finland and Sweden).
Freight flights operate to 60 destinations in more than 30 countries from Leipzig/Halle including those by Air Bridge Cargo Airlines.