World’s largest aircraft lands in Zagreb

Antonov An-225 taxiing at Zagreb Airport

The largest aircraft ever produced, the Antonov An-225, landed in the Croatian capital Zagreb yesterday, marking its first appearance in the former Yugoslavia. The cargo aircraft, affectionately known as Mriya (Dream), jetted into Zagreb at 17.45 local time on Friday. The aircraft has been chartered to carry the 136 ton transformer to the Philippines produced by Croatia’s Končar Power Transformer Company. The An-225 will be parked and loaded with cargo at Zagreb Airport throughout Saturday, giving spotters the perfect opportunity to snap some photos of the rare giant. Those wishing to take photos can do so from Zagreb Airport’s observation deck, known as the Spectator’s Terrace, today from 08.00 until 18.00. The aircraft is scheduled to depart the Croatian capital for Mactan-Cebu International Airport on the island of Cebu tomorrow at 06.00 in the morning.

Zagreb Airport says the arrival of the An-225 is further proof of the airport’s capabilities to deal with large aircraft. “Zagreb Airport is capable of handling even large aircraft like this. It is an extremely challenging feat which included the preparation and organisation of all necessary resources”, Zagreb Airport spokeswoman, Lidija Capković Martinek, says. She adds that all other air traffic at the airport, as well as passengers using its facilities, will be unaffected by the arrival of the Antonov. The massive transformer was transported to Zagreb Airport on Thursday night. It will take some fourteen hours to load it onto the aircraft.

Known for its immense carrying capability, the An-225 can transport up to 250 tons of cargo internally or 200 tons on the top of its fuselage. The aircraft is bigger than both the Boeing 747 and the Airbus A380 and is longer and heavier than the Hughes H-4 Spruce Goose. The An-225 is powered by six turbofan engines and is the only one of its type ever to have been produced. It is operated by Ukraine’s Antonov Airlines.

More photos here.


  1. Well done ZAG, it is always great to see such giants in the region - and this one is the ultimate giant :)

    Ex-YU, do you have any records of largest aircraft (commercial, cargo or military) that landed on airports across the region in the past 10 years or so? It would be nice to have a look at Top5 at least...

    1. Anonymous10:58

      It would be interesting to see this!

    2. The largest commercial aircraft would be the B747. But I will look into it :)

  2. Anonymous11:37

    No offense but I think this article is not for this blog.

    1. Anonymous12:10

      yes it is. zag was exyu airport and its aviation blog on exyu region. but something else i wanted to say. the last booked sit for beg-gva on easyjet was yesterday :( so poor.. but beg-mxp average is every 15 mins, which is great. im so affraid of this beg-gva route especially because now well have two companies flying. but let us see, maybe its too early. it november and the first flit is gonna be in 3 months. I WANT DIRECT LINE FROM BEG TO MAN :)

    2. It is, but not as main news. It's more for 'side news' on the left of the site. Antonov An-225 in ZAG won't change anything in the ex-yu aviation world. This event is more important for Croatian economy.

    3. Anonymous12:25

      but what would be the main news for today for example? excuse me, but this is the first time ever that an225 landed in this region. why not.. i was also wondering how it would do that. zag doesnt have so long runway. i mean it has but this plane is huge. and nothing special is happening in the region. i dont remember what kind of news was when i read here that air serbia increased in passenegers after 6 days?!! i mean hellooo.. was it that important to know whats going on after 6 days? why i havent seen here AS delays every single day since it strarted? absolutely every day every flight..

    4. Anonymous12:34

      Actually the delays were mentioned in the article you are talking about. Reread it.

    5. No offense but An-225 is considered top aviation news anywhere except maybe in some frustrated parts of the Balkans where the only thing that ever matters is to undermine and gossip on your neighbours. The article well belongs here.

    6. Anonymous13:03

      @IxNovember 9, 2013 at 12:47 PM


      Some people are just jealous, that is all, best to ignore them!

    7. Anonymous14:42

      Anonymous November 9, 2013 at 12:10 PM wrote:

      "yes it is. zag was exyu airport and its aviation blog on exyu region."

      "zag was..." is wrong.
      "zag is..." would be correct.

    8. Anonymous14:42

      Of course people in Zagreb are excited about this. It's not often you get to hear something positive from that region. It's either about failed tenders or some sort of scandal involving OU and/or its sexy unions.

    9. Anonymous16:59

      @Anonymous 12:34
      I read it, but it wasnt the headline, just mentioned in the article. Its important to be critical on something that doesnt go right. right? if i fly tomorrow to cdg or cph and the flight is 9:30, why would i come to the airport 8am if the flight would be at 12h? ok? it should be the main news here because im tired of delays from national carrier in last 14 years. if they continue this way, im affraid people are going to use another airliners, even to fly to europe via some european hubs. and from as theyve said just we were sorry, it was because of catering. helloooo.. i dont care what the reason of everydays delayings.. in 10 days i go to milan, easyjet, and to tell u the true, i dont want to risk, cause i have to be there on time!!! im sorry for OT. regards from belgrade!

    10. Anonymous17:04

      * delays

    11. Anonymous17:10

      @ Ix November 9, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      So true but not all neighbors are like that ;)

    12. Milojko21:25

      15 minute delay you do not feel, nobody from regular passengers would complain on it, it is more for air geaks.

      It of course doesn't mean that this is ok, far from it,

    13. Anonymous12:16


  3. Anonymous12:13

    And not to menton that Mriya had vistited BEG almost a decade ago, so it`s not a first appearance in EX YU

    1. Anonymous12:21

      It never landed in BEG. The An-124 did but not the 225

    2. Anonymous13:12

      An 124 landed at Zagreb several times in 2012 that I recall and in quite a few times before 2012, so its also impressive to see these land, but most Croatian spotters are impressed with B747 Jal, Air India, Korean Air and China Air when they land at Zagreb for some reason, An 124 never makes the news among cro-spotters.

      So its nice to see An 225 here at Pleso and many are now talking of this event, will talk of this event for a while .

      Good to see massive aircraft at small regional airport.

  4. Steve12:40

    I am English and live in Spain, the 225 landing anywhere is news, and a first visit to an airport let alone a region is bigger news, unless you are unimpressed by such a magnificent machine.
    Nice site by the way

  5. Anonymous13:21

    If you have a look at Zagreb airports FB page, you might notice that people from all over Europe were looking to organise a spotting opportunity to see the An-225 at Zagreb. Their is only one made and flying so it is very rare to to see.

    So of course this is news and deserves to be treated as such.

  6. Anonymous13:22

  7. Anonymous13:33

    Pretty cool vid of her landing at Zagreb. Real action starts from about 40 sec mark.

  8. Anonymous16:00

    ^ So cool that we have Youtube!
    Seeing something is more impressive than reading about.
    I guess todays landing of the An-225 in Zagreb is not only the first but also the last time in our lifetimes.
    Thats way...let us enjoy it !!!

  9. Anonymous16:19

    Great news! Unbelivable. Well done ZAG.... It had to be a lot of work for dealing with this machine

  10. Anonymous17:46

    So now instead of being in Zagreb
    to have the once in a lifetime chance to see the Superbird...
    Purger bores himself to dead while sitting in Belgrade airport and waiting another hour for his delayed connecting flight with Air Serbia.

    1. Purger02:19

      I had nice time in Belgrade. And I am in Belgrade tomorow almost all day.

  11. Anonymous20:27

    Shadows on potential investor in OU

    Potential investor Garuda has had a bumpy road in 2013.
    - in the January-June period Garuda and its subsidiaries posted a net loss of $10.9 million
    (reportedly increased fuel prices, and repayment of massive debt)
    see the link

    In the three following months the loss increased for additional 12 mil USD.

    - PT Garuda Indonesia (GIAA), recorded a net loss of US$22 million for the first nine months of the year
    despite a 12.59 percent year-on-year uplift in operating revenues to $2.68 billion
    see the link

    Regarding the abovementioned article there is a sound comment:

    "half the loss was made Q1/2 when exchange rates favorable. The majority of the loss is due to finance payments not forex -
    Fact - borrow money to upgrade from overseas - you have to pay it back. Welcome to the real world"

  12. Anonymous21:53

    You have to realize that Garuda is state owned - like OU it has to fly, full or empty... Loss is not a problem since the debt will be solved by the state od Indonesia, the core of their bussines is to move people around, there are few players (i like to call'em) that can live from flyin' passangers around.

    You have to know that Qatar/Emirates/etc., don't make profit in real terms... They pay fuel ONE DOLLAR for THOUSAND KG OF FUEL! You can't compete with that, so this Garuda loss is not much when you take into account that those eastern currency have a large deviations and that they are flyin' in region that's overcrowded with airlines and you, probably, have to fly with minimum to non profit.

  13. did the flight to mactan cebu international airport happen? given typhoon yolanda situation there? we had an AN-124 here few years ago. would be fun to see the largest plane here

  14. Anonymous16:04

    It will first land in Bahrain and Thailand before going to Cebu...
    I think Cebu is a militarian/civilian airport and that the Army will clean up the runway before landing.
    The plane is russian what means that it can land even in very harsh conditions.

  15. Anonymous14:41

    Demanding project was executed by UTC Overseas international logistics team . As always , Antonov 225 arrival to Zagreb had aroused great interest of people and the local media ...
    I had opportunity to be part of this project since it started .
    In this short video we can see how demanding was the loading of this heavy transformer , and it's slow entry into the cargo hold trough the giant AN225 jaws ...


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