Polet gives Bavaria and new freighter ‘thumbs-up’

Not many aircraft have been privileged to receive heavenly protection. One of the rare specimens that received a divine blessing is an Ilyushin transporter IL96-400T of Polet Airlines that landed recently in Munich. Responsible for the blessing was Petr Stepanov, a high-ranked priest of the orthodox Russian church. The reason for the unusual tarmac-held ceremony […]


Not many aircraft have been privileged to receive heavenly protection. One of the rare specimens that received a divine blessing is an Ilyushin transporter IL96-400T of Polet Airlines that landed recently in Munich. Responsible for the blessing was Petr Stepanov, a high-ranked priest of the orthodox Russian church. The reason for the unusual tarmac-held ceremony was the beginning of line haul flights from Shanghai via Novosibirsk to the Bavarian capital. The service will be conducted twice weekly with the aircraft landing at Moscow Sheremetyevo airport for intermediate stops on its way back to China.

Moscow-based Polet is the launch customer of the Ilyushin freighter which can carry up to 92 tonnes over a distance of 5,000 km or 50 tonnes as far as 12,000 km. The Perm engines (PS-90A1) powered freighter is roughly comparable to Boeing’s MD-11F when it comes to range and payload. Munich has also been named European headquarters of Polet Airlines. “It’s still a niche market, but we see enormous chances to further develop,” stated Anatoly Stepanovich Karpov in an exclusive interview with Payload Asia. In his welcome address the airport’s managing director Michael Kerkloh emphasised that nearly half of the Bavarian gross national product (GDP) consists of exports, mainly due to the strong automotive industry with BMW and Audi as key players, along with the highly developed IT sector.