Chapman Freeborn and Antonov Team Up and Charter Three An-124s to Transport 370 Tonnes of Cargo from Australia to Brazil

Mar 23, 2021 | Corporate Member News

Chapman Freeborn and Antonov Airlines have transported 370 tonnes of mining plant equipment from Melbourne, Australia to Brazil in three Antonov An-124 aircraft.

The An-124 is one of the largest aircraft in the world, specifically designed for heavy cargo. There have only been 55 in existence since the jet was first manufactured in 1982, 19 of which are currently in operation globally.

The client required new parts for their mining plant in Brazil and were under a strict time constraint to get the parts in time to update their machinery. The parts were very large and susceptible to bending and breakage.

Chapman Freeborn Cargo Broker, Ana Bocchini, organised the operation with Antonov Airlines, securing three An-124 aircraft and chartering them for three separate journeys in order to transport the enormous amounts of cargo before the deadline.

Ana comments, “The timeline was challenging – initially our flight plan was six days in total, however we needed to change this to nine days after assessing the load. In the end it came together with some meticulous planning and changing legs of the journey to avoid delays and closed runways”.

The flights took place on 20th February, 26th February and 1st March, leaving from Melbourne where the cargo was manufactured and landing in Brazil, where the mining plant is located. The journey was broken up with many fuel and rest stops in places including Dakar, Deli, Baku, Germany, Iceland, the US and Suriname.

The COVID-19 pandemic presented some obstacles; the flights had limited crew members, so they had to land for frequent rest stops, rather than crew swaps taking place whilst air-bound. Each rest stop entailed the crew being escorted to a hotel for approximately 12 hours for sleep and the aircraft being refuelled before the flight could depart again.

Additionally, rapid COVID-19 tests had to be conducted during each 12-hour rest window prior to the next leg of the flight being cleared to take place.

The operation was a success and the cargo arrived within the deadline, enabling the client to successfully update their machinery and keep their mining plant running safely and efficiently.

Antonov Airlines Commercial Director, Andriy Blagovisniy said, “Antonov Airlines has more than 30 years of experience in cargo airfreight and used this expertise to operate the challenging Australia to Brazil shipments. I am grateful to Chapman Freeborn and to the client for the trust and cooperation that made this project successful and effective”.


Jose Antonio Farina, Sales Director, LOGIN – Logística & Aduana said, “As soon as we knew we had to ship 370 tonnes of equipment from Australia to Brazil we had no doubt that we needed a company with experience, efficiency and proactivity. We made the decision to hire Chapman Freeborn, who gave us full support in relation to packaging, parts distribution, safe handling, scheduling and arrival – safely and without any delay. We thank everyone involved for their excellent performance and we hope to work with them again soon”.

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