In a bid to respond to the unprecedented demand for the upcoming summer travel season, as the vaccination effort in Europe is underway, Ryanair has decided to fund the completion of the second Antonov An-225 Mriya, the largest cargo aircraft in the world.
“We are very happy to announce that Ryanair will once again be the leader in aviation’s recovery. With the order of the second Antonov An-225 Mriya, we are responding to the unprecedented demand showcased by our customers. We realized that the current fleet of aircraft is simply not enough, despite having over 450 aircraft under our possession,” read the announcement by the Irish low-cost carrier.
The plan was in the works for quite some time, according to the airline, as rumors that Ukraine was looking for a partner to finish the second An-225 came to light in early February 2021. At the time, Yuriy Husyev, the chief executive of UkrOboronProm, the parent company of Antonov, stated that the company was “having active talks with several countries regarding the development of Ukrainian aircraft fleet.”
“The massive investment required to complete the second An-225 Mriya, which we dubbed as the “Summer People Mover”, did not scare us off. We see an opportunity to use the aircraft to restore flights and schedules and be the leaders in the recovery of aviation within Europe,” commented Michael O’Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair.
Ryanair will create a unique cabin layout in the second An-225, with a seating capacity of up to 1,000 passengers.
According to O’Leary, the demand is so high, that the airline is also looking to acquire an example of a Buran to place it on the back of the Mriya – as it was designed to do – and place seats on the Buran to extend the capacity of the “Summer People Mover” to up to 1,700 passengers per flight.
“We are still in the early stages of the project, but the opportunity to also utilize a Buran is there,” noted O’Leary.
“Once again, Ryanair is demonstrating how excellent management of a crisis can lead to opportunities leading out of it. We want to thank our newest partners at Antonov who have helped us in delivering this two-of-a-kind aircraft to our customers, who will absolutely love the new Ryanair product,” concluded O’Leary.
While the aviation industry is still suffering due to an unprecedented crisis, such occasions as April Fools’ allows the tension to simmer down. After all, laughter heals. The article was not meant to offend or cause harm to anyone and is not an accurate representation of events that have or will transpire.