Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Emergency Power Flown as Airfreight After Ravages of Hurricane Irma   

Airline Supports Relief Effort

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Shipping News Feature FRANCE – GUADELOUPE – The plethora of supplies and equipment needed by the Caribbean islands which lay in the path of Hurricane Irma are essential to try and preserve, and indeed save, lives and power generation is at the heart of the problem for many island inhabitants. When Antonov Airlines was contracted to airfreight thirty two giant generators on behalf of EDF from Chateauroux, France to Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, only the company's AN-124-100 aircraft, each with a payload of up to 150 tonnes, fitted the bill.

The generators, which weighed a total of 105 tonnes, are needed to provide electricity to France’s Overseas Region of Guadeloupe and Overseas Collectivity of Saint Martin and the problems of transport were not limited to weight, as Paul Furlonger of Antonov explained:

“The aircraft was in Cairns, Australia at the time the charter was confirmed, which meant we had to respond promptly to move it halfway around the world. The AN-124-100s’ unique on board crane system, which has a lift capacity of 30 tonnes, allowed for a safe loading and unloading process, without the need for a special ground infrastructure at the airport.

”This is the first in a series of Antonov Airlines flights that will deliver humanitarian and relief cargo to the Caribbean from the governments of France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. We remain committed to providing fast and efficient solutions globally for humanitarian aid.”

This initial cargo reached its initial destination in under 24 hours and was supplied by the EDF Group, included three different sizes of generators: nine generators measuring 4.840m long, 1.200m wide, and 2.200m high, and weighing 4.030 tonnes each; 16 generators measuring 4.470m long, 1.200m wide, and 2.200m high, and weighing 3.200 tonnes each; and seven generators measuring 3.800m long, 1.100m wide, and 2.000m high, and weighing 2.410 tonnes each.

Photo: The generators waiting to load aboard the giant aircraft.

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