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Press article fom  12.08.2009

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport sets world record in air freight

Frankfurt-Hahn Airport has made aviation history. Yesterday, the heaviest single cargo item ever sent via air freight was loaded onto an Antonov 225, the world's largest cargo plane, at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. The generator for a gas power plant in Armenia, including loading frame, weighs in at a record 189.98 tonnes. The entire cargo item is 16.23 metres long and 4.27 metres wide. Together with Charter Service Niklas, the renowned company General Transport AG is responsible for overall coordination of the transport on behalf of Alstom AG (Switzerland). The Antonov took off yesterday evening at 10:38 pm.


"There are many good reasons to handle this transport via Frankfurt-Hahn Airport: firstly, the airport is easily accessible for heavy load transports. Also, I have great confidence in the airport operator's highly professional handling procedures. Moreover, the airport works in a very flexible way and has an infrastructure tailored to suit consignments of this scale," says Fritz P. Mumenthaler, CEO / President of General Transport AG.

Before being loaded in Hahn, the generator was transported by ship from Rotterdam to Longuich on the Moselle River and from there it was brought to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport by a heavy load transport vehicle. In order to transport the entire gas power plant (built by the Alstom company) to Armenia, a total of six flights are required, all of which are to take off from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. Four of the six flights have already been completed with the Antonov 225's 'little sister', the Antonov 124. Since May 2005, this aircraft has already taken off from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport 400 times. The fifth flight took off today with the Antonov 225, which can carry very heavy loads weighing up to 250 tonnes. The final cargo item, a transformer, will also be flown to Yerevan with the Antonov 225 in the next few days.

"This transport, with the largest cargo plane in the world, shows how flexible Hahn Airport is and the great prospects it offers in the cargo sector," says Hendrik Hering, Economy Minister. For years now, Frankfurt-Hahn has numbered among the key cargo bases, both Europe-wide and worldwide. In Germany, Hahn is in fifth place behind Frankfurt, Cologne/Bonn, Leipzig and Munich. The favourable geographical location in the centre of Europe, the 24-hour operating licence, the 3,800-metre-long runway, and the short access and departure routes from the apron to the road and vice versa are among this airport's key competitive advantages. The well-coordinated workflows, the flexible internal logistics at the airport and the presence of offices for all major authorities for the entire approval process in Hahn also impress customers. While at many German airports, freight is only transported as additional cargo in passenger aircraft, at Frankfurt-Hahn, a large number of purely cargo planes are used for imported and exported goods.

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