Volga-Dnepr Group / Press-center / Media Coverage

ABC faces delays in aircraft delivery

07/24/2008

AirBridgeCargo (ABC), the scheduled arm of the Volga-Dnepr Group, may lease feeder aircraft if its two Tupolevs, on order for next year, suffer expected delivery delays.

Speaking exclusively to IFW at the Farnborough Air Show, Denis Ilyin, ABC's senior VP strategy and commercial, said the 28tonne payload Tu204Cs were scheduled for delivery in the first and second quarters of 2009, but were likely to run late. "B757s could fill-in for us, and we are also looking at the A320, which will be available as a freighter conversion from the second half of next year," Ilyin said.

ABC almost doubled its volumes in the first half of this year, thanks to the delivery of three B747-400ERFs (extended range freighters).

Fuel surcharges accounted for a large proportion of the revenue increase, and he said the challenge was to make cost-effective use of its three older -200Fs.

Last week, Volga-Dnepr announced its half-year results, with its air charter operations seeing a 91% sales growth to US$600m. ABC's new sales grew by almost 180%, from $117m in the first half of 2007, to $212m year-on-year.

"We are selling the Russian market and our target is that this should be 30-40% of our traffic," Ilyin said. "We are already at that level from Beijing. We want the same in the next six months with our services from Hong Kong and Shanghai. "But we're still increasing our presence in Europe," he said. "The classics [-200Fs] can feeder into Europe and are also serving our Kransoyarsk cargo hub from China. On these shorter services their higher fuel burn is less of a penalty."

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