• American Airlines used a chartered Antonov An-124-100 to transport a damaged engine from JFK to Charlotte.
  • Antonov Airlines, a Ukrainian carrier, held a permit for foreign air transport and could deliver the necessary engine parts that other US carriers couldn't handle.
  • Ground transport would have taken five days, but Antonov's swift response helped American Airlines avoid lost revenue of approximately $125,000 per flight.

American Airlines called on an Antonov An-124 at the weekend after one of its Boeing 777-200 ended up stuck in Charlotte with a malfunctioning engine. The chartered Antonov was called upon to assist in transferring a Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engine, which was whisked south from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK).

According to data published by the Department of Transport, Antonov Airlines applied for an exemption on August 11th to operate the domestic route to assist the American carrier. Trackers on show the An-124-100 was positioned at JFK on Saturday 12th and transported the engine to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) later that evening.

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Foreign air permit

Antonov Airlines, a carrier of Ukraine, holds a permit to engage in charter flights for foreign air transport to/from the United States. The purpose of the operation was to return the 777-200 to service as soon as possible for American Airlines by transporting the necessary parts.

The Trent 800 aircraft engine and its associated parts weigh up to 26,000 lbs, and given its size and weight, it was faster and easier to get a specialist in to deliver the cargo. Antonov's speedy response to this urgent shipment allowed it to relieve American Airlines in its sticky situation. Of the Antonov aircraft variants, the An-124-100M can operate with a payload of 330,693 lb. (150,000 kg) and fly 2,000 NM (3,700 km).

An American Airlines Boeing 777 taking off.
Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

As for any airline, when a plane is on the ground, it usually isn't making its owner any money, as reiterated in a letter to the Department of Transport from American Airlines, Global Logistics Specialist Vincent Palmieri reiterated that the use of ground transport would take up to five days for the parts to be delivered, and should the 777 remain out of action, this would incur lost revenue to the carrier of approximately $125,000 per flight.

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Antonov Airlines

With its headquarters in Kyiv, Ukraine, the cargo carrier usually operates from its base at the international cargo facility at Hostomel Airport (GML). However during due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the airport site became an intense battleground, including an event becoming known as the Battle of Antonov Airport. This was when the infamous Antonov An-225 Mriya (the world's largest aircraft) was destroyed. With the carrier looking to protect its remaining assets, it has moved its hub to Germany and currently operates from Leipzig Halle Airport (LEJ).

Photo: 2273945673 / Shutterstock


  • American Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner From Above
    American Airlines has not had the slam dunk it was hoping for as Bangalore's first connection to the US in 2020. Photo: Vincenzo Pace - Simple Flying
    American Airlines
    IATA/ICAO Code:
    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier
    Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Miami International Airport, New York JFK Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
    Year Founded:
    Robert Isom
    United States