LONDON, U.K. — The British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce and Airbus are exploring the potential use of the Airbus' heavy-lifter A300-600ST Beluga to transport Rolls-Royce's large commercial aircraft engines.

The engine manufacturer has been working with the European airframer to use the Beluga to transport its engines.

The necessity of a new heavy-lifter has become urgent due to the war between Russia and Ukraine. Before the war, Ukraine and Russia were dominating the heavy cargo market with their Antonov An-124 fleets.

A number of Ukrainian An-124, including the world's largest freighter An-225 Mriya, were destroyed during Russian attacks. On the other hand, Russia's An-124s have mostly been grounded because of the worldwide airspace closures for Russian-registered planes.

The lack of those planes has reduced the number of high-capacity aircraft in the market.

"The Antonov offers productivity because of the number of engines you can get in it," said Dominic Horwood, director of services at Rolls-Royce. Horwood also emphasized that they would continue to support Ukrainian operators of the type.

"But as an alternative, we have also been working with Airbus to explore the use of their Beluga. No engines have been carried so far, but hopefully, that is not far away", added Horwood.