- On 7 November, Antonov Company, the state-owned Ukrainian manufacturer of the world’s largest cargo plane, announced plans to rebuild the An-225 aircraft.
- The Antonov An-225 was destroyed by Russian forces in February, shortly after the start of the invasion of Ukraine, at Gostomel Airport near Kyiv.
- The plane, which is also known as “Mriya,” is said to cost over half a billion dollars to rebuild. The rebuild is currently in the design stage.
“According to available expert estimates, currently there are about 30% of components that can be used for the second model of the aircraft,” the company said, adding that the exact details of reconstruction will only be released “after Ukraine wins this war.”
The An-225, which was in service for over 30 years before its destruction, was built in the Soviet era. The aircraft first took flight in 1988. It was built to transport the Soviet spacecraft Buran before being used to charter international cargo flights.
Antonov published the following statement on its Facebook page:
On November 7, 2022, the opening of the international image project “Ukraine: with MRIYA in the Heart” took place at Leipzig/Halle Airport, Germany. Its goal is to show the world once again the consequences and destruction if “Russian peace” entails.
According to the Ambassador of Ukraine to Germany (MFA of Ukraine), Oleksiy Makeiev, “The event we are attending today is one of the important components of informing the world community about the destruction that Russian forces are wreaking in Ukraine. Walking through the exhibition, which is hospitably placed here at the airport Leipzig/Halle, you will see that senseless, destructive force destroying the high achievements of engineering and technical thought, the work of thousands of qualified specialists. Attention is focused on the An-225 “Mriya” aircraft. I personally have flown on almost all “AN” aircraft, starting with the An-2. however, the “Mriya” remained a dream for me. We hope that it will be restored and we will see this mighty bird in the sky again.”
It is symbolic that the first of the expositions of the mentioned project, which is planned to be implemented in airports of various countries with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, was launched at the Leipzig/Halle airport. It is a long-term reliable partner of ANTONOV Company in the implementation of cargo air transportation, in particular, under the SALIS programme – in the interests of NATO countries.
Currently, Leipzig/Halle airport has become the base for five An-124-100 type aircraft of the ANTONOV air fleet, which allowed to continue their operation around the world. As noted by the acting general director of the enterprise Yevhen Gavrilov, “Today the whole world must make a choice, choose for itself the path of further development, technology and progress or destruction. We thank our German partners again for choosing the path of light. In particular, thanks to them, we were able to continue carrying out transportation around the world, people receive such important for them, urgent cargo that only “Ruslan” can transport!”
Götz Ahmelmann, the CEO of Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG, commented, “When we learnt about the exhibition project, we were immediately excited. Leipzig/Halle Airport and ANTONOV have enjoyed a very close and partner-like relationship for many years. We work together on a very trusting basis, have resolved a large number of tasks together and have transported a great deal of freight. ANTONOV Airlines and our airport have grown alongside each other. There’s therefore hardly any better place for this exhibition and we’re absolutely delighted that we’re able to present it here, together with our Ukrainian partners.”
The concept of light and shadow was chosen by breakout MOMENTS, the partner company for the design of the exhibition. Through the prism of the history of the An-225 “Mriya” aircraft, it shows the light of progress and the darkness of destruction, making visitors think again about what is happening in Ukraine at the moment.
The exposition, which opened today (7 December), will be open until the end of December 2022.
ANTONOV Company sincerely thanks the Ukrainian photographers who provided their photos for the exhibition. Photographs, from which a real picture of today emerges, cannot leave a person indifferent. Together we will defeat darkness and cruelty, rebuild the country and raise another “Mriya” to the sky.