Last weekend American Airlines took the unusual step of chartering an Antonov An-124 to fly between New York/JFK and Charlotte/Douglas International (CLT).
The aircraft UR-82029 (c/n 19530502630) – operated by Ukrainian cargo carrier Antonov Airlines – departed JFK at around 10pm local time on August 12 and arrived at the North Carolina airport around 11.15pm.
The four-engine giant was contracted to operate a one-way flight transporting a Rolls-Royce Trent 800 powerplant.
An Emergency Exception application made by the freight airline to US Department of Transportation (DOT) on August 11 revealed that the flight was “necessary to allow the earliest possible return to service of a Boeing 777-200 aircraft operated by American Airlines that is currently out of service and on the ground at CLT”.
Approval from the DOT is required for a foreign registered aircraft to operate a commercial domestic flight within the US.
The 777, N765AN (c/n 32879) had been out of action on the ground at the North Carolina hub since August 9, when it arrived on a scheduled flight from Paris/Charles de Gaulle.
In a supporting statement, American said: “The dimensions of this engine are such that it will not fit on any US freighter aircraft in its current stand and configuration. Trucking the engine will take at least five days due to NYC bridge and wide load permits.
“Each day [N765AN] is AOG, it impacts hundreds of passengers, and each flight cancelled will negatively impact American Airlines revenue by approx. $125,000 per flight.”
As of August 15, the 777 remains on the ground at CLT and the Antonov An-124 has been repositioned to Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania.