Volga-Dnepr Group / Press-center / Media Coverage

Carriers focus more on fuel-efficient jets

08/04/2008

Russian group Volga-Dnepr, for example, is now pushing ahead more quickly with the acquisition of more new generation IL-76TD-90VD freighters, a modern modification of the IL-76 cargo

Charter operators are turning to more fuel-efficient aircraft because of high fuel costs, except in certain exceptional circumstances where the type of cargo dictates the type of aircraft - usually an AN-124 or IL-76 - irrespective of fuel prices. Europe Correspondent Phil Hastings explains Soaring oil prices are having a mixed impact on worldwide freighter charter operations. While they are boosting demand for flights to support oil/gas exploration and production operations, their impact on air freight costs in general is encouraging more shippers to seek alternative, cheaper, methods of transport.

In a bid to try and at least partly counter the latter trend, international air charter operators are stepping up their efforts to source and deploy newer, more fuel-efficient freighter aircraft.

Russian group Volga-Dnepr, for example, is now pushing ahead more quickly with the acquisition of more new generation IL-76TD-90VD freighters, a modern modification of the IL-76 cargo "workhorse", for its charter fleet.

In addition to being much quieter, the IL-76TD-90VD is also said to burn 15 percent less fuel than previous versions of the IL-76.

Volga-Dnepr currently operates two IL-76TD-90VDs freighters, which have an average pay-load capacity of around 50 tonnes, and has three more due to be delivered by mid-2009. The charter operator revealed earlier this year that it had now signed an option with the Russian Aviation Consortium for a further three such aircraft.

"By 2010, on our basic plan, we expect to have five IL-76TD-90VDs and, depending on market demand and financing, maybe six or more," said Volga-Dnepr's commercial director for charter, Dennis Gliznoutsa.

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