Focus on XL transport aircraft
Airbus wants to expand the business of “Beluga”.
Due to the Russian war of aggression, an entire fleet of large cargo planes is lost to the Ukrainian airline Antonov. Airbus now wants to close the gap and rely more and more on its XL transport aircraft. There is enough demand right now.
The aircraft manufacturer Airbus wants to expand the business with large-capacity transporters for military and civil applications. “With the bankruptcy of the Antonov fleet, a void has now arisen in the area of wide-body transport aircraft. We want to test ourselves in this market with the Beluga,” said Airbus armaments division chief Michael Schöllhorn, earlier. of the start of the International Aerospace Exhibition (ILA) on Wednesday in Berlin. For him, a “personal highlight” of the show will be the Airbus Beluga XL transporter.
“We have to get our satellites to Kourou in Latin America under certain conditions. We have often done this with the Antonov. At the moment, the Antonov is no longer flying,” he said, referring to the Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer, who was the target of Russian attacks. “It’s also about the issue of military deployability, where the European military is also thinking more about how to get the equipment from A to B. And of course the Beluga also plays a role in the considerations.”
Schöllhorn is also president of the Federal Association of the German Aerospace Industry. Around 550 exhibitors will present their solutions for the future of aviation and space travel in Schönefeld from Wednesday to Sunday. In addition to lower polluting emissions in air traffic, the focus is on the military side due to the war in Ukraine. The industry is keeping an eye on Germany’s planned additional military spending of 100 billion euros.
The AN-225, built in 1988, was also part of the Antonov fleet. It was considered the flagship of Ukrainian aviation and, with a length of 84 meters and a wingspan of almost 90 meters, it was the heaviest and largest aircraft in the world. At the beginning of the war, the “Mirja” was destroyed by the Russian attacks at the Hostomel airport near Kiev. During the pandemic, the machine had delivered millions of rapid corona tests to Germany.