According to reports in the media, Russia and Ukraine have officially discussed resuming production of the Antonov AN-124 aircraft.

The issue was reportedly discussed by the prime ministers of the two countries at a meeting in Sochi last week

It is thought that a formal joint venture document will be signed in September – signalling a new era of cooperation in the area of aerospace development.

It is estimated that production of a modernised AN-124 could resume as early as 2015.

The giant freighter – which is typically used for transporting heavy and outsize cargo – was originally designed by Antonov design bureau in the late-1970s and made its maiden flight in 1982.

In recent years the AN-124 fleet has been used extensively by NATO for strategic airlift requirements, leaving limited availability in the commercial cargo market.

As a cargo charter specialist, resumption in production would be welcome news. The unique capabilities of the AN-124 make it the ideal freighter for moving a wide variety of cargo including outsize oil and gas equipment, containers, vehicles and aerospace parts.

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