Ukraine Crisis: Antonov Airlines Confirms Intentions To Move Operations to Leipzig

Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource

LONDON – It is understood that Antonov Airlines has confirmed intentions to move its operations from Gostomel, Ukraine to Leipzig, Germany.

This comes off the back of five of its AN-124s already operating out of the airport, which would make sense in why this is happening.

According to Airways Magazine, Antonov is expected to commence around 385 flights over the next 12 months, highlighting the high demand needed for their aircraft.

Goodbye Gostomel?

It does appear that for now, it is indeed goodbye Gostomel, following the airfield being majorly damaged during the Ukraine conflict.

This all started off when the base was seized by Russian paratroopers, causing Antonov employees to evacuate the surrounding areas in order to avoid death.

Then, the sad news came out about both its active AN-225 Mriya and the unbuilt one being destroyed, which has hindered the company even further.

Maybe there will be a day when Antonov returns to Gostomel, but obviously, it just isn’t doable nor sustainable to do so on a safety level.

Is The Company Finally Listening to Dmytro?

About two months ago, Antonov’s Flight Commander, Antonov Dmytro, attributed the damage to its jets to inaction within the management side of the company.

On his YouTube channel, he said the following:

“Indirect reasons why the aircraft stayed in Hostomel because there was no decision to transfer the aircraft to any place.”

“Let it be Poland, the nearest airport where we were, Rzeszow. Leipzig. Why Leipzig?”

“Because on January 26 there was an appeal to our major head of the Antonov state enterprise from NATO NAMSA representatives, working through the Antonov Logistics Salis company, that they offer us, in the light of future events, to relocate our entire fleet to Leipzig with all personnel, crew, spare parts – there was no answer to this question”.

“Top management of the company, who cheerfully, two weeks before the war, all left for Leipzig and occupied, before the war, the office of Antonov Logistics Salis.”

“Think. Decide. There is where to find reasons, connections with the Russian Federation, and everything else. I hope whoever is responsible for these questions will take my words into account. I am ready to show, tell about some of the nuances of our life”.

With this recent announcement, it is clear that whether they listened to Dmytro or not, Antonov has to use Leipzig as a hub for rebuilding its core business. And that is vital.

Why Did Antonov Announce This?

Around two days ago, Antonov put out posts encouraging people on social media not to share information about the active fleet.

The Airways Magazine report stated that the Leipzig plans were announced at a conference in Vienna this week, so surely they wouldn’t want to publicly announce this?

Either way, however, Leipzig does make sense for Antonov’s cargo operations. It is a massive base of operations for DHL, so the infrastructure is there already to deal with any excess capacity.

Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see how the manufacturer will utilize this airport, and whether it will return to the good old glory of Gostomel in the future hopefully.

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