Volga-Dnepr Group / Press-center / Media Coverage

Russian Optimism Grows


Russia's growing importance in the global air cargo market will help lead the industry out of the doldrums over the next several years. So said Denis Ilyin, senior vice president for strategy and commercial for AirBridgeCargo Airlines, the scheduled arm for the Volga-Dnepr Group.

Russia's role in air logistics will increase from its present 1.4 percent of the total $80 billion worldwide market to 8 percent in 2015 and 16 percent in 2030, worth an estimated $8.4 billion and $25.6 billion, respectively.

Between now and the year 2025, the air cargo industry worldwide is forecast to grow between 5.4 percent and 7.1 percent per year.

"Air freight growth in Russia over the 17 years is forecast to be greater than that for North America, Europe-Middle East, Intra-Europe, Europe-Africa, Europe-North America, Latin America-Europe and Latin America-North America," Ilyin said during the Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States conference held this summer.

Russia cargo airlines' share of scheduled cargo will jump from 1.4 percent today to 10 percent by 2020. Their charter cargo business will jump from the current 74 percent market share to 90 percent in 12 years, he added.

Ilyin said a growing fleet of Russian and Western-built freighters would meet the upward trend. By 2020, the airline estimates that 52 AN-124 freighters will be required to support 39 percent of the growing Russian market. The number of IL-76 aircraft needs to grow from 28 freighters in 2008 to 41 aircraft by 2020 to meet demand, he added.

Not everyone shares Ilyin's optimism, at least in the short term. The International Air Transport Association's traffic data for May showed a significant drop in cargo growth to 1.3 percent, down from the 4.3 percent recorded for the full year of 2007. The biggest reason for the drop came from the 0.5 percent contraction in Asian carrier traffic resulting from the earthquake in China and weakness in the Japanese economy, IATA said. For the first five months of 2008, air freight volumes were up 2.8 percent.

Predictably, fuel was the source for the industry's woes. Jet fuel averaged $160 per barrel in May, 87 percent higher than in the same period last year.


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