Russian Air Force An-124s on the Block?
The 21 An-124 heavy airlifters owned by the Russian Air Force are now available for sale to commercial operators, according to unconfirmed media reports in Russia. The Russian Air Force grounded the aircraft in December 2005, and their technical condition is uncertain. If they are for sale, they are certain to attract interest from the four current commercial operators of the An-124. These include Volga-Dnepr Airlines (VDA) and its former competitor but now partner, Antonov Airlines. In our opening edition at the Paris Air Show, we described the use of their aircraft by NATO, and the scheme to relaunch production that is being led by VDA. If the surplus military An-124s are in fact available, that scheme could be even less likely to proceed.