Volga-Dnepr Group / Press-center / Media Coverage

Strong year for Volga-Dnepr uplift


While other operators struggle with small increases, one Russian charter and scheduled freighter operator reports a big improvement in 2007

Volga-Dnepr Group last week reported total sales of US$1.05 billion for 2007, some 51 percent higher than its result in 2006 and "the best achievement for Volga-Dnepr in our history", said UK managing director Valery Gabriel.

Within the group, charter sales grew last year by 62 percent to hit $767 million, while the AirBridgeCargo (ABC) scheduled cargo airline saw its sales rise by 32 percent to over $300 million. The company also marked its first full year of independent operations under its own AOC (air operator's certificate), ABC senior vice president, commerce and strategic development Denis Ilyin pointed out.

The total volume of cargo carried by the Volga-Dnepr Group in 2007 grew by 4l percent to reach 212,900 tonnes, against an average global market growth rate of 6 percent for the year. Of that figure, Volga-Dnepr's AN-124 freighter fleet carried 59,700 tonnes of cargo, exceeding its performance in 2006 by 43 percent, while a further 51,300 tonnes was lifted by the IL-76 all-cargo fleet.

Volga-Dnepr is in the middle of a programme to grow and improve its aircraft fleet. The first stage of the AN-124-100 upgrade was completed last year with a new version - the AN-124-100M-150 - successfully gaining certification.

In 2007, Volga-Dnepr took delivery of its second upgraded IL-76TD-90VD freighter and signed a deal for three more of the aircraft to join its fleet in 2009-10.

Scheduled traffic carried on the ABC B747 freighter fleet grew by 29 percent in 2007 to reach 101,900 tonnes. In September, the carrier launched scheduled B747F services on a Moscow - Tokyo - Krasnoyarsk routeing and during the course of the year the aviation authorities of Russia and Japan signed an agreement that included the granting of traffic rights to ABC for additional frequencies to Tokyo-Narita in the 2008-10 timespan.

ABC received its first B747-400ERF aircraft in November last year and the delivery of two more is due in the first half of this year.

Volga-Dnepr has also placed orders for five new B747-8 freighters, which will be delivered between 2010-2013. The group has an option for five additional aircraft of this type.

On the ground, the Volga-Dnepr Group has been involved in the construction of the new multimodal cargo terminal at Krasnoyarsk-Yemelyanovo airport. ABC is now planning to introduce twice-weekly scheduled B747-400ERF transpolar services in the second half of this year on a Krasnoyarsk - Toronto - Houston - Europe - Russia routeing, according to Ilyin. The original aim had been to launch US services last year with the introduction of the new B747-400ERF to the fleet, but that move was delayed due to adverse market conditions.


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