22 April, 2023

Massive Antonov An-124 cargo plane impounded by Canada to be given to Ukraine.

A massive Antanov An-124 Volga Dnepr cargo plane that had been confiscated by Canadian authorities in February 2022 a few days after Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine will now be given to Ukraine, according to local sources.

The massive jet, registration RA-82078 arrived on 27th February, just four days after Russia's invasion started and the same day Canadian airspace was closed to all Russian-operated aircraft.  This meant the big An-124 had been grounded at Toronto Pearson Airport ever since.

The aircraft will now be given to Ukraine after a legal ruling by Ukrainian Courts that Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency illegally approved air-worthiness certifications for all twelve of the Antonov An-124s in the Volga Dnepr fleet.  

The matter was discussed during a meeting on 11th April 2023 between the Prime Ministers of both nations, Denys Shmyhal and Justin Trudeau which helped facilitate the transfer. 

Since the start of the conflict, Antonov Airlines has operated an active fleet of five An-124-100 aircraft which it rehomed at Leipzig - Halle Airport in Germany. It is understood RA-82078 will be transferred to the fleet within the next two months. 

According to reports,  three other Volga-Dnepr An-124 aircraft, registrations RA-82043, RA-82045 and RA-82046 are impounded in Germany and their fate is unclear although it is unlikely they will return to the skies this year.