HeavyLift has brokered a tie-up with former rival Air Foyle to market Russian outsize air cargo capacity after the collapse of its joint venture with Volga-Dnepr.

The two UK airlines say they have agreed in principle to form a joint venture to "promote, market and sell on a world-wide basis commercial charters of all aircraft operated by Antonov Airlines". The joint venture, called Antonov Airlines (UK), will be chaired by Air Foyle's chairman Chris Foyle and will have board members from both UK airlines. It will merge the two airlines' outsize cargo activities.

The Kiev, Ukraine, based airline affiliate of the Antonov design bureau operates a fleet of eight Antonov An-124s, as well as smaller An-22s and An-12s. The airline also aims to have revived the giant, 250t payload An-225 by mid-2001.

"We have always had the highest professional regard for HeavyLift, our principal competitor in theAn-124 marketplace, and we are delighted that we are joining forces in this way," says Foyle.

Last month, it emerged that HeavyLift's 10 year partnership with Volga Dnepr had ended after the Russian airline decided to go it alone as it seeks "significant investment" for fleet expansion.

Source: Flight International