More than a month after the destruction of the world’s largest and most powerful An-225 Mriya transport aircraft by the Russians, Larysa Drozdova, a spokeswoman for the Antonov aircraft company, commented on this tragic event for Ukrainian aviation. According to her, the An-225 Mriya did not take off because there was a threat of losing the crew.

“We did everything possible to move the Mriya from Hostomel airport. The situation was very difficult. We managed to take out 5 An-124 Ruslan. The latter took off just before the start of hostilities. Mriya was also supposed to take off, but the situation was already very difficult. Since the sky was already closed, there was a threat of losing the plane’s crew. An investigation is currently underway, said Drozdova to Espresso.TV .

We should remind that Dmytro Antonov, an ex-commander of the An-225 Mriya, accused the concern’s management of negligence. According to him, back in January 2022, the management of the SALIS program offered Antonov Airlines to move the airline’s fleet to NATO reserve airfields, such as Rzeszów in Poland or Leipzig in Germany. But Antonov’s leadership ignored this offer.

Antonov State Enterprise replied that the company’s management allegedly accepted the SALIS offer and managed to drive five Ruslans to Europe before the war. An-225 Mriya, which was undergoing scheduled repairs of engines, could not leave for safety, as the aircraft was ready for departure only on the morning of February 24, 2022, which was too late.

However, the Ukroboronprom State Concern decided to suspend Director General of Antonov State Enterprise Serhii Bychkov and is currently conducting an official investigation.

A spokeswoman for Antonov also said that the concern plans to restore the An-225 Mriya.

“I believe we can rebuild our Mriya. Such an interesting moment: one of the plane’s engines was started by the wind, which seems to hint to us that our Ukrainian Dream (Mriya) is alive. Therefore, we will be able to restore this aircraft. And it will become a purely Ukrainian, renewed Dream,” added Drozdova.

Earlier, Antonov called for the establishment of International Fund for the Revival of the An-225 Mriya transport aircraft, which, according to preliminary information, requires at least 1 billion hryvnias. However, the idea was criticized, because to restore or create a new Mriya you need to first restore some unique production, which is unlikely.