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BYLINE: Roger Turney
It is probably the most eclectic fleet of aircraft you will ever come across, but Maximus Air Cargo lives up to the claim of providing lift for every need. Whether you need an AN-124, IL-76, Hercules L-382 or an A300-600, this carrier clearly is attempting to fill a wide range of services.
Its fleet of curiosities probably sums up the odd way in which Maximus came about. Based in the Arabian Gulf state of Abu Dhabi, the airline evolved two years ago from ECA, which then provided the Abu Dhabi royal family and government with heavylift services. That included logistics support for the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates, of which Abu Dhabi is the lead state.
At that time, ECA had a lone AN-124 and three IL-76TD freighters. The AN-124 aircraft is a curiosity itself, having been bought new by the government of Abu Dhabi while remaining on the Ukraine register.
All four aircraft were transferred to the new Maximus in 2005 when management decided the carrier needed to become more commercially viable. So it offered excess capacity for charter, entering its name into the arena of startup freight operators around the world setting out to take advantage of growing global trade and a growing attention to all-cargo services.
The policy appears to be working.
"The total assets of the company …