London, 19 February 2002. In 2001 Volga-Dnepr Airline's overall market share was 47% and therefore exceeded the results of other participants in the outsize air cargo market. Last year the company carried 23,000 tons of cargo. The average flying time total for the fleet was 5,829 hours.

Volga-Dnepr's Director General (CEO) Alexey Isaikin, says "Last year was a determining period for the further development of the airline. The restructuring of our marketing and sales system in the outsize cargo market, combined with the slump in that market because of world economic decline was a tough test for Volga-Dnepr However I can safely say that the new marketing strategy was successful and the company's performance was at a very high level in the face of a narrowed market and tough international competition".

In 2001 the global market volume of outsize cargo shipments declined by 14 percent and totalled $178 million. Volga-Dnepr's sales volume was $83 million, 95 percent of the airline's operations were in the international air cargo market, which endured a serious decline due to world major economic slowdown. The realisation of the airline's new marketing strategy was crucial in beating the crisis in airline industry.

Pro-active work by Volga-Dnepr's own sales centres in Stansted (UK), Houston (USA), and network offices in Beijing (China), Shannon (Ireland) and Sharjah (UAE) enabled the company to weather a temporary decline in sales volumes at the beginning of the year and gradually increase market share during the year to 56 percent in the fourth quarter. The airline's market share was up again to 58 percent for January, 2002, when 1,037hr of flying time was logged.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines was founded in 1990 in Ulyanovsk, Russia and is the leader in the An-124-100 outsized and superheavy cargo market. At present the company has nine An-124-100 aircraft, which is more that 43 percent of the world An-124-100 fleet. Volga-Dnepr's long-term clients include blue-chip companies such as Lockheed Martin, Bombardier, Boeing, Alkatel, BAE Systems plus governments and international organisations. Volga-Dnepr was the winner of the Wings of Russia award in 1997, 1998, and 1999. In February 2001 VD won a prestigious Air Transport World award for the development of cargo shipments.

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