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Air Foyle and HeavyLift Cargo in joint venture


Air Foyle and HeavyLift Cargo Airlines have formally signed the legal documentation to create a joint venture between their two companies.

This new corporate entity, referred to as Air Foyle HeayLift Limited, unites the two heavyweight and outsized cargo specialists to market and promote on a worldwide basis commercial charter flights operated by the Ukrainian carrier, Antonov Airlines.

Antonov’s current fleet includes eight AN-124-100 freighters and a 250 tonne payload AN-225 aircraft, which is scheduled to be fully certified for worldwide commercial charters by end November. Other aircraft types that also form part of the new JV marketing operation comprise AN-12s, AN-26, AN-32 and AN-22 freighters as well as HeavyLift’s own fleet of two IL-76s, two Belfasts and an additional AN-12F. HC Airlines will continue to market separately its three Airbus A300B4-200Fs.

Air Foyle’s commercial sales team, flight planning and operations personnel will now be relocating as soon as possible from Luton to enlarged premises at Takeley, close to Stansted Airport near London, to join their colleagues from HeavyLift who have recently moved in to this new purpose-designed office facility.

Both companies’ US presence will continue and their comprehensive international General Sales Agency network will also remain in place. Air Foyle’s Luton office is being retained to accommodate its accounting and administration personnel, as part of its treasury role for Antonov.

“Having been competitors for ten years in the AN-124 and outsize cargo market generally, each company has seen the way the other operates and holds a high degree of respect for one another. Together we are able to offer over thirty years experience of the specialist outsize cargo market,” said Chris Foyle, Chairman of the new JV.

Of the three prime operators in the AN-124 market, Antonov is the only one taking advantage of working with a western partner – plus with the addition of the first AN-225 next month, Air Foyle HeavyLift will be an unrivalled force in the global outsize air cargo industry.”

As part of the joint venture strategy, HeavyLift Cargo Airlines has wet-leased three AN 124s from the Antonov Airlines fleet – these are being marketed by the JV to offer British (CAA), approved aircraft to those customers to whom this is important.

Both Air Foyle and HeavyLift have developed strengths in different market sectors and they now hope that by combining their marketing muscle and by adding in the advantage of working with Antonov as the design authority, the JV expects to substantially increase its share of the global outsize air cargo market in particular in the AN-124 transportation arena.