An-225 on Afghan trip

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The Antonov An-225 Mriya was awaiting final approval as Flight International went to press to undertake what is believed to be its first commercial flight since certification.

The An-225, the world's largest aircraft, was certificated in May in the Ukraine and approved in the USA late last month. It was awaiting security approval to deliver 100,000 charity packages to Afghanistan. The aircraft is likely to fly from New York Kennedy.

The flight would be operated by Air Foyle Heavylift, a joint venture between UK outsize freight operator HeavyLift Cargo Airlines and Antonov Airlines marketing specialist Air Foyle. The Antonov has no more customers for the aircraft.

The An-225 was restored to flightworthy condition earlier this year in a bid to break into the outsize cargo market.