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Air Freight Case Study

Airfreight Operation: Bulgaria to U.S. Air Base

In support of a Government client, GTS arranged three consecutive Antonov-12 charter flights from Gorna Oryahivitsa, Bulgaria to an U.S. Air Base in Europe.  The three flights totaled a payload of 41.5 metric tons, primarily carrying grenades, UN0006, Class 1.1E explosives.  Due to the nature of the cargo, many logistical obstacles had to be overcome prior to flight operation.  GTS was selected to oversee this project due to our expertise in cargo charter flight handling and our extensive knowledge of hazardous materials.    


  • Locate cargo charter operator licensed to carry class 1.1 explosives from Bulgaria to an US Air Base in Europe
  • Obtain pre-approval from US Department of Defense  required to operate on a US Air Base
  • Obtain export, landing, over flight, and traffic rights from appropriate governmental authorities


After researching potential flight operators for this project, it was determined that only a one operator was both able to carry this particular commodity within Bulgaria and the EU, and already an approved carrier of the US Department of Defense. 

Next, we began coordinating with the shipper and charter operator to organize flight dates, load plan details, and obtain the shipper’s export license for Class 1.1E explosives.  The carrier obtained an exemption from Bulgarian Civil Aviation Administration for the purpose of transporting IATA Class 1.1E and applied for over flight rights from the countries in the flight path from Bulgaria to the destination country.   After the planned flight dates were confirmed, an official application was submitted to the DOD for landing authorization at the Air Base.  Upon receipt of all granted authorizations, we arranged pick-up at the shipper’s facility.  Again, due to the nature of the items being transported, a special inland road license was required from the shipper’s facility to the airport, along with a security escort to the airport.  We handled this matter through our local agent, and all cargo arrived at the airport on time and ready for departure.


GTS’ efforts resulted in three successful on-schedule AN-12 arrivals at the Air Base.  Our affiliate GTS-Europe office placed a representative onsite at the destination to coordinate cargo offloading and delivery to the consignee. The client was satisfied and complimentary with regards to the planning and involvement of so many different parties.   The GTS Group remains a valued partner of this client to this day.

Services Utilized:

  • Charter Flight
  • Project Freight
  • Third Party Logistics
  • Dangerous Goods - Class 1 Management