Volga-Dnepr Group / Press-center / Media Coverage

Volga-Dnepr: the Bridge in the Air


This year, Volga-Dnepr Group celebrates its 25th anniversary in the cargo sector of the air transport industry. Volga-Dnepr, after initially creating the market niche, became a global leader in the heavy and outsize air cargo segment. The charter airline transports heavy and outsize cargo using a fleet of AN-124-100 Ruslan and IL 76TD-90VD freighter airplanes, as well as AirBridge Cargo Airlines, which operates a scheduled airline fleet of Boeing 747s and 737s. With its modern aircraft and the latest advances in carrying freight, Volga-Dnepr is able to transport complex air cargo deliveries worldwide.

The Group possesses wide-ranging experience in the oil and gas, aviation, aerospace, energy and motor car industries. In the last quarter century, the company has become a global expertise leader in international logistics and transports telecommunication satellites, helicopters, airplane wings and fuselage sections, industrial equipment, humanitarian aid freight, and even world heritage pieces of art.

Company specialists develop optimum logistic models that meet individual customer needs while ensuring high-quality, time-sensitive and cost effective transportations. When developing solutions for unique cargo transportations, Volga-Dnepr not only changes the established air logistics concepts, but also significantly influences various State industries. One of the most complex engineering and logistics tasks accomplished by Volga-Dnepr involved the movements of gas industry equipment to Papua New Guinea. The Group was engaged in the construction project of a new airport (Komo-Manda) capable of accommodating airplanes like AN-124-100, and needed deliveries of gas processing equipment. The equipment that was delivered allowed them to build a liquefied natural gas processing plant, and played an important role in developing the economy of Papua New Guinea, which also had a positive effect on the country’s economy.

Among the most outstanding projects of Volga-Dnepr was the delivery in 2013, on board an AN-124-100, of two B787 Dreamliner’s half-wing panels from the manufacturer’s site, at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan, to Boeing’s factory in the United States in 2013 for final assembly.

Delivery of freight, which requires special storage and transportation conditions, is one of the Group’s greatest strengths. In 2008, Volga-Dnepr Airlines performed a delivery of a hydro turbine wheel for a Kambarata-2 Hydro Power Plant that was under construction. The turbine wheel was delivered from St. Petersburg to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on board an AN-124-100 freighter. Volga-Dnepr began 2015, its jubilee year, with the delivery of a 70-ton electrodynamic vibration stand to perform testing, facility strength checks and tool calibration. Transport from Shanghai to Chelyabinsk was on an AN-124-100 Ruslan.

One of the flagship activities of Volga-Dnepr from its establishment in 1990, has been transporting aerospace equipment. To date, Volga-Dnepr delivers every third satellite to its launch site and in its 25-year history, the Company has performed more than 4,500 flights for the aerospace industry. With the assistance of Volga-Dnepr aerospace logistics planning, the People’s Republic of China replaced railway transport with airlifts, which allowed for transporting satellites almost fully assembled, which significantly improved the efficiency and reliability of PRC’s aerospace programmes. Since 2006, Volga-Dnepr AN-124-100s have delivered 36 aerospace shipments to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

Volga-Dnepr has assisted various States with developing aerospace programmes and last year delivered the first Argentina satellite ARSAT-1 to its launch site in French Guiana. The event became a milestone, enabling Argentina to enter a path of new achievements.

In 2014, Volga-Dnepr delivered a six-ton Airbus Defence and Space Astra-2G telecommunications spacecraft from Toulouse, France to Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The company makes it possible to complete the most complex logistics operations, with satellite delivery as one example. Satellites require special transportation containers equipped with the temperature monitoring system. To date, there is no operational cosmodrome worldwide that has not been visited by Volga-Dnepr.

Besides industry interests, Volga-Dnepr has carried out other projects. The Company’s airplanes delivered the exposition of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Beijing, which included painting works by famous Russian artists like Surikov, Levitan, Repin and a total of over one hundred of XVIII to XX century paintings. Volga-Dnepr has had a broad experience in shipping cultural valuables for both state-owned museums worldwide and private galleries.

Volga-Dnepr Airplanes delivered from Shanghai to Guam, famous Chinese terracotta warriors, the Terracotta Army, a collection of full size terracotta sculptures of warriors and horses to a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With the exception of transporting objects of art, which are subject to customer inquiries, the airline provides additional logistics services that include arrangements for terminal handling of cargo on a tight schedule.

For many years, Volga-Dnepr Group has participated in major national projects. In 2013-2014, the Group provided cargo logistics for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The amount of cargo transported totaled more than 1,800 tonnes. The Company also took part in the Olympic Flame Relay project: in December 2013, the Olympic Flame took to the skies over Ulyanovsk on board a well-known Ruslan freighter airplane.

Among the most important activities of Volga-Dnepr are humanitarian aid deliveries for various international organizations, including the United Nations and the Red Cross. The Company’s fleet, particularly the AN-124-100s, are in special demand during humanitarian catastrophe response activities. For State-run programmes, like that of the People Republic of China which supported West African countries in 2014, Volga-Dnepr delivered special epidemiological protection aids to the regions struck by the Ebola virus. It is worth noting that the Company developed and implemented a standard for performing flight operations in the virus-spread area which fully excluded the risk of infection for the crew.

For the UN Ebola Emergency Response Mission, a Volga-Dnepr An-124-100 freighter delivered Mi-8 helicopters from Moscow to Freetown in Sierra Leone. To load three 25-meter Mi-8s on board An-124-100, Volga-Dnepr used a proprietary loading pattern that was developed for helicopters.

For the last quarter century, Volga-Dnepr has performed deliveries of humanitarian aid and special equipment for response missions to disasters and catastrophes worldwide. In 2015, Volga-Dnepr accomplished flights in response to devastating Cyclone Pan in Vanuatu Islands and the earthquake in Nepal.

During this time, Volga-Dnepr has developed unique expertise in air cargo transport worldwide and has accumulated interactive experience with local authorities in various States. It has a reputation for being a leading technology partner and a reliable provider of comprehensive solutions in the domain of air cargo deliveries, which makes Volga-Dnepr, a most important link in the global economy. ICAO Journal vol.70- №4


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