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Contract AirLift / Charters Case Study

Middle East Charter Operations

GTS handles multiple weekly charter flights between the EU and the Middle East, as well as charter operations Intra-Iraq and Intra-Afghanistan on behalf of governmental and commercial customers. These operations typically carry vehicles, general cargo, and various dangerous goods. Charters originate from military and civilian locations in the EU, delivered to strategic locations in the Middle East and Central Asia. GTS maintains total control of the flights, coordinating over-flight rights and landing permissions from both military and civil airports to achieve a high rate of on-schedule flights.


  •      Frequently Hostile Locations
  •      Transport of Cargo Aircraft Only (CAO) materials
  •      Short Lead Times
  •      Changing Destinations
  •      Short Turnarounds
  •      Large, Heavy Cargo


We utilize Ilyushin-76 (IL-76) and Antonov-124 (AN-124) aircrafts to ferry oversized cargo between various Middle-Eastern cities, including Baghdad, Mosul, Kirkuk, Tikrit, and Sulaymaniyah. These aircrafts allow us to accommodate the changing needs of our clients. The IL-76 can land on airstrips as short as 3500 feet, so we can deliver cargo to virtually any landing strip in the region. The AN-124, with its on-board 20-ton crane lift, is great at moving outsized cargoes and has weight capabilities for over 100 tons. With the precise coordination of our operations teams, we often arrange such shipments within 24-48 hours lead-time. 


GTS has executed hundreds of flights for many customers, including 20-ft, 40-ft, High-cube containers and oversized cargoes such as generators and helicopters. At the extreme, we coordinated one flight at maximum capacity with 90 tons in 185 crates. It was loaded for transshipment to Eastern Europe via an intermediate location in the Middle East, where the shipment was moved onto three consecutive aircraft, with a total turnaround time of six hours on the ground. 

It is no surprise, then, that the customer later commented,

“GTS is a company that is comfortable with the unusual.”

Services Utilized:

  •      Air Charter
  •    Dangerous Goods Management