Ukrainian state-owned aircraft manufacturer Antonov will provide technical support of heavy airlift transport An-124 Ruslan aircraft currently operated by Russian cargo airline Volga-Dnepr.

As the manufacturer, Antonov should comply with its obligations to “continuously assess the technical condition of its planes throughout their lifetime,” Antonov explained its decision in an official statement on November 3, 2017.

 “Failure to fulfill our direct responsibilities may lead to the loss of license and may also cause market losses,” the manufacturer stated in a press release.

Antonov also emphasized that its cooperation with Volga-Dnepr was approved by Ukrainian authorities and does not contradict the law because this Russian airline is not under Ukrainian sanctions.   

Volga-Dnepr Airlines is an airline based in Ulyanovsk, Russia. Its fleet consists of five Boeing 747-8F,  five IL-76TD-90VD  and 12 Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft which are the largest cargo mass-produced aircraft in the world. In 2016 the cooperation between Antonov and Volga-Dnepr Airlines was suspended because of political tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

In July 2017, Volga-Dnepr informed about its plans to develop new transport aircraft, ATO.ru informed.  Volga-Dnepr estimated that the An-124-100 should be replaced until 2040. The company has already prepared all necessary requirements for the modernization of the existing An-124-100 Ruslan aircraft and analyzed the project of a prospective airplane.    

Recently Russian newspaper Kommersant informed that Russia and Ukraine can resume their cooperation in the field of civil aviation. According to media, Ukrainian manufacturer Antonov could extend an airworthiness certificate of Volga-Dnepr’s  An-124-100 aircraft.