An Antonov exhibition opened at Leipzig/Halle Airport on Monday. This should also attract donations for the construction of a new An-225. According to Ievgen Gavrylov, Managing Director of Antonov, 30 percent has already been completed. For security reasons, the assembly takes place at a secret location.
The army of the Russian Federation attacked the Hostomel factory airport in the spring of 2022. In doing so, too destroyed the world's only Antonov An-225. Operator Antonov Airlines was heavily criticized by the Ukrainian government for not getting the huge transport aircraft out of the country in time. Separately, both the manufacturer and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that will build a new An-225. The world's largest aircraft was considered the pride of Ukraine.
According to Ievgen Gavrylov, work has already begun. It uses stored parts from the second An-225, which was never completed. These are supplemented with components from the destroyed machine that are still usable, as well as newly manufactured ones. In Leipzig, the manager explained that the 500 million euro project is already 30 percent complete. For security reasons, the assembly takes place at a secret location.
Merchandise items such as Mrija model airplanes are also to be sold as part of the exhibition that opened at Leipzig/Halle Airport. With this income and voluntary donations, the construction of the An-225 should be pushed forward, Gavrylov explained. The decision to work with the East German airport is no coincidence. Antonov Airlines has been working with Leipzig/Halle Airport for a long time and since the outbreak of war in Ukraine a base has been established here, because you can no longer use the home base.
Exhibition shows history of Antonov and destruction of An-225
The exhibition “Light and Shadow. The Antonov Story” officially opened at the airport. Also present were Ievgen Gavrylov, Acting Director General of Antonov Airlines and Olexandr Gritsenko, Director of ALS (Antonov Logistics Salis GmbH).
In two atmospherically designed rooms, the exhibition provides different perspectives on the history of the Antonov cargo planes and provides insights into the moving history of the aircraft manufacturer Antonov up to the destruction of the main base in 2022. In the bright room, the focus is on technology and progress as well as the important role that Play cargo planes in a global economy. The destruction of Antonov's home airport in Hostomel near Kyiv and the world's largest cargo plane, the Antonov An-225, are discussed in the dark room. Most of the visual material in the exhibition comes from the archives of the Antonov company, supplemented by photographs that were taken at Leipzig/Halle Airport.
“When we heard about the exhibition project, we were immediately enthusiastic. Leipzig/Halle Airport and Antonov Airlines have had a very close partnership for many years. We work together very trustingly, have solved a large number of tasks together and moved a lot of freight. Antonov Airlines and our airport have grown together. That's why there is hardly a better place for this exhibition and we are very pleased that we can present it here with our Ukrainian partners," says Götz Ahmelmann, CEO of Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG.