Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (2nd R) meets the crew after an An-132 light transport plane made a successful maiden flight from the Svyatoshyn airfield in the Ukrainian capital to the Antonov airfield in Kiev region, at the Antonov airfield in Kiev region, Ukraine, on March 31, 2017. Ukraine-produced An-132 light transport plane has taken to the skies for the first time on Friday, Ukrainian state-run aircraft producer Antonov said in a statement. The multi-purpose plane, capable of carrying up to 9.2 tons of cargo, could be used in emergency medicine, fire-fighting, skydiving, cargo transportation and reconnaissance missions. (Xinhua/Sergey)

KIEV, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine-produced An-132 light transport plane has taken to the skies for the first time on Friday, Ukrainian state-run aircraft producer Antonov said in a statement.

The plane, which was developed by Antonov in cooperation with the Saudi company Taqnia Aeronautics, has made a successful maiden flight from the Svyatoshyn airfield in the Ukrainian capital to the Antonov airfield in Kiev region.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who has observed the flight, hailed the development of the country's aircraft-manufacturing industry.

"I feel pride for my compatriots, for thousands of workers of the Antonov plant and other Ukrainian enterprises, who are making efforts to put the An-132 in mass production," Poroshenko told reporters.

The An-132 aircraft with a top speed of some 500 km per hour, which is able to serve the short and medium range air routes, was unveiled to the public in December 2016.

The multi-purpose plane, capable of carrying up to 9.2 tons of cargo, could be used in emergency medicine, fire-fighting, skydiving, cargo transportation and reconnaissance missions.

According to the manufacturer, the distinctive feature of the new aircraft is that it can operate on the unpaved runways, in mountainous areas and in difficult climatic conditions.

The Ukrainian government has estimated the market demand for the An-132 at between 260 and 290 planes by 2035.

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