World’s largest cargo plane stops in Anchorage on its way to Canada with medical supplies

The world’s largest cargo plane, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, landed in Anchorage on Thursday for a layover while transporting medical supplies from China to Canada. The An-225 is a one-of-a-kind plane originally developed to transport the Soviet Union’s Buran shuttle and components of the Energiya rocket.

The Ukrainian airplane recently returned to the skies after an 18-month modernization overhaul, and has been transporting medical supplies from China to countries around the world. Before this flight to Montreal, the plane delivered more than 8 million face masks to Germany.

The An-225 is the world’s heaviest plane, with a maximum takeoff weight of 1.4 million pounds, and can carry large, bulky cargo like wind turbine blades.

Antonov, the company that operates the plane, has been working since 2016 to complete the build of a second An-225, which was started in the 1980s but never completed.

[Because of a high volume of comments requiring moderation, we are temporarily disabling comments on many of our articles so editors can focus on the coronavirus crisis and other coverage. We invite you to write a letter to the editor or reach out directly if you’d like to communicate with us about a particular article. Thanks.]

Loren Holmes

Loren Holmes is a staff photojournalist at the Anchorage Daily News. Contact him at

Bill Roth

Bill Roth is a staff photojournalist at the Anchorage Daily News.