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MONTREAL -- The world's largest cargo plane touched down just north of Montreal Friday night to deliver thousands of kilograms worth of medical supplies for the fight against COVID-19.
The Antonov AN-225 Mriya, which was chartered by Quebec, arrived from China at Mirabel Airport with the largest shipment of medical supplies for the province since the start of the pandemic.
Canada follows Poland, France and Germany in getting such a huge haul of medical supplies.
“We managed to get in close to 1,000 cubic metres of gowns. We are working to repeat the event for the next few days and hoping that Canada will follow,” said Alexandre Triquet, president and CEO of Tridan, a real estate company.
Tridan altered its operations after the pandemic hit to work with the importer/exporter VSLG Groupe to help transport goods during the crisis.
“Since we have good relationships all over the planet, we decided to unite them and find the quickest way to bring what the country lacked the most,” said Triquet.
Triquet said that since March, the team has been trying to bring in medical equipment to Quebec and Canada.
The two companies landed their first aircraft in early April. Their efforts have since grown, landing a Boeing 747-400 and Boeing 777-200 plane just last week.
The group contacted the Ukrainian company that manages the Antonovs to help bring in the large shipment.
“We decided to rent ourselves an Antonov and fill it with equipment that the government needs,” he said.
The AN-225 entered commercial service in 2001 and was originally developed to transport rocket and space shuttle parts in Soviet-era Ukraine. The redesigned model can transport 250,000 kilograms of material.