QCOSTARICA – Sunday, the Juan Santamaría International Airport (San Jose airport) in Alajuela was ‘colored’ with the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag, ahead of the arrival of the Antonov AN-124, the giant Ukrainian-flagged commercial plane that has been doing runs to and from Costa Rica for a major technological company.
The fourth-largest airplane in operation was to have arrived around 5:30 pm, but it wasn’t until hours later when the wheels touched down after experiencing a delay in Houston.
During the waiting time, the many packed the terminal from all ends with flags, lights and balloons alluding to the country that is being invaded by Russia. With their presence, they showed solidarity with Ukraine.
At the San Jose airport on Sunday, the colors blue and yellow dominated the atmosphere.
Images from social networks.
Through the call from the Aeronautical TV social network page and other groups of aeronautics lovers, the General Cañas highway and other roads in the vicinity of the airport were congested with vehicles.
Entire families from many areas of the Central Valley gathered in the outskirts of the airport to see the big plane arrive.
At 9:30 am this Monday morning, the AN124 left Costa Rica, headed for Las Vegas, Nevada.
Big brother: The “Mriya,” or “dream” in Ukrainian
The Antonov AN-124 is a smaller steel hulk than its older brother, the AN-225, the world’s largest cargo plane and of which there is only one made and currently been destroyed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to Ukrainian officials.
The Antonov An-225 Mriya (AN-225) is not just any plane. It was designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the Ukrainian SSR within the Soviet Union during the 1980s, originally developed as an enlargement of the Antonov AN-124 to carry the Soviet space shuttles, such as the Buran.
Its design is unique. It has six motors and a total of 32 wheels. On the outside it has the colors of the Ukrainian flag, although white predominates.
The “Mriya,” or “dream” in Ukrainian, was parked at an airfield near Kyiv when it was attacked by “Russian occupants,” Ukrainian authorities said, adding that they would rebuild the plane.
“Russia may have destroyed our ‘Mriya’. But they will never be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free and democratic European state. We shall prevail!” wrote Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Twitter.
A frequent visitor
The AN-124 has been a frequent visitor to Costa Rica, making regular appearances over the last several months.
Following are photos from Aeronáutica TV Facebook page: