Massive Antonov AN-124 aircraft makes special NC delivery to help fight pandemic


KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – One of the world’s largest planes was set to fly out of Kinston late Tuesday afternoon, after making a special delivery.

It’s called an Antonov AN-124.

The four-engine jet was designed in the Cold War to carry Soviet military troops and equipment.

The big Antonov jet delivered equipment for West Pharmaceuticals in Kinston to make necessary medical components. 

West Pharmaceuticals will make items needed for a potential coronavirus vaccine.

West’s hundreds of employees and global partners make these efforts possible.

Making a lot of vaccines means there’s a need for a lot of critical equipment.

Mike Fischer with West Pharmaceutical explains, “We’re trying to support our customers and scale up and meet the needs of when the vaccine is ready for us and we can meet the supply and demand.”

Officials in the Kinston area are working to expand economic development.

Leaders with the N.C. Global Transpark say this shows their capabilities. 

“We need to create more buildings because we’ve got the industries here so we got to create things to bring other suppliers to eastern North Carolina and that’s what we’re going to do,” says Mark Pope Sr. Vice President of NC Global TransPark Economic Development. 

It’s a global effort in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and employees say they’re pleased West Pharmaceuticals Kinston facility is playing a key role. 

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