Volga-Dnepr Group / Press-center / Media Coverage

Volga picks Wraight to head its scheduled B747F project


╥he Russian-owned Volga-Dnepr Group has added impetus to its project to provided scheduled ┬747 cargo flights between China, the Far East and western Europe with the appointment of Stan Wraight as executive director of the project. Wraight will be responsible for the establishment of the new company and in building its management team. ═σ was previously senior vice president sales and marketing for Atlas Air and has held senior management positions with KLM Cargo in North America, Europe and Asia, including the role of vice president sales and marketing.

According to Alexey Isaikin, president of Volga-Dnepr Group, the carrier is currently considering leasing or purchasing two ┬747 freighters to start operations in late 2003 or early 2004.

Wraight's appointment will bring broad experience of the scheduled cargo transport market to the Russian carrier.

"═σ will make α valuable contribution towards our successful entry into the international scheduled market," Isaikin acknowledged.

"His knowledge of the air cargo industry will also be used to help us identify more opportunities to improve and develop the charter business," he added.

Isaikin said the carrier planned to take advantage of Russia's geographic location, with its trans-Siberian and cross-polar routes, to maximise the potential of scheduled cargo flights.

═σ said the first ┬747 freighters will come into service ε∩ the Far East - western Europe route, with stops in Moscow and possibly Novosibirsk.

Isaikin said the acquisition of two aircraft "is just the first step. In order to meet the market potential and satisfy customer needs, and remain competitive, we believe we will ultimately need to operate at least 10 aircraft."

═σ said Volga-Dnepr was in preliminary talks with International Financial Corporation and American Eximbank concerning the financing for the scheduled cargo operation. Sberbank, the Savings Bank of Russia, has also expressed its interest in supporting the project, Isaikin added.

Commenting on his new role, Wraight said the group was "very ambitious and I am confident its reputation for service quality in the air charter sector can be repeated in the worldwide scheduled air cargo market".

Air Cargo Week, 14 July 2003

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