Volga-Dnepr Airlines: 2001 - main trends in development


Volga-Dnepr Airlines has announced its preliminary results for 2001. Despite difficult economic conditions and strong competition in the world air cargo market, Volga-Dnepr Airlines has not only retained its leadership in the outsize and superheavy cargo sector, but also achieved good results.

Business policy

2001 was the first year of independent international work for Volga-Dnepr (outside the joint venture). Volga-Dnepr implemented a global sales & marketing network for its An-124-100 services, which includes the company's own sales offices in USA, Europe, Russia, Middle East, South-East Asia and a vast international agency network. The company also has its own technical facilities at Shannon, Ireland and at Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

Co-operation with Lockheed Martin, Bombardier and Shorts Brothers, BAE Systems, Boeing, Astrium, Alcatel, and Volkswagen in ongoing contracts can be considered as the year's success.

Volga-Dnepr also won a series of United Nations tenders, in which the main criterion was reliability.

Most important operations

Carriage of United States' space equipment, including launchers and satellites

Transporting the Russian "Baikal" space launch vehicle

Flying humanitarian aid cargo to Congo, Sierra Leone under UN contracts

Conveying large mixed loads of vehicles and off-road equipment

Carrying a 43ton ship's propeller in our Ilyushin Il-76

Investment policy

Co-operation continued in 2001 with the International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank) on the project of acquiring further An-124-100 aircraft and modernisation of the An-124-100 fleet.

IFC officials undertook an inspection of Volga-Dnepr, visiting the manufacturing base and the offices in Ulyanovsk, Moscow, Stansted and Shannon.

In December 2001 the IFC Board of Directors approved the deal. After discussing preliminary details 10-year investment contracts will be signed.

Partnership with international organisations, international air community activities

Volga-Dnepr continued work with the United Nations as an official service supplier. Volga-Dnepr Airlines was one of the first Russian companies to join the UN's "Global treaty".

Russia & CIS Chapter of The International Air Cargo association (TIACA) held its conference in Kiev, Ukraine. Volga-Dnepr's General Director, Alexey Isaikin, is a member of TIACA's Executive Committee and is head of TIACA's Russia and CIS department.

The third conference on the Antonov An-124-100 was held. The Governmental Counsel of Civil Aviation, the International Aviation Committee, the Russian air & space agency, designers, manufacturers and operators of the An-124-100 were among the participants.

Fleet development and modernisation

Volga-Dnepr has had re-certification of its An-124-100s for 24,000 flight hours and 6,000 flights, approximately 25 years of operation. Together with the State Aviation Committee (MAK) and Antonov Design Bureau the airline has launched a programme with the British Civil Aviation Authority to gain UK certification for the An-124-100.

Volga-Dnepr has modernised the An-124 to meet ICAO Stage 3 requirements in radio communications, noise emission and collision avoidance systems (TCAS).

The airline has instigated a maintenance system to provide 90 percent fleet operational capability.

Volga-Dnepr uprated the An-124's on-board rail-crane to 30-ton capability and is carrying out tests to increase it to 40 tons.

The airline enhanced is unique double-deck roll-on/roll-off loading equipment for same vehicles.

Volga-Dnepr received four patents for loading equipment, taking the total number of patents held to eight. Developing and modernising the loading equipment keeps Volga-Dnepr's in the lead in unique loading operations. Volga-Dnepr is three times quicker than other An-124 operators.

The Ilyushin Il-76 re-engining business-plan and the technical modernisation programme for the aircraft were developed.

Flight safety

A flight crew training programme in cockpit resource management (CRM) to eliminate human factors hazards was introduced. A human factors conference for flight crews has been held for the first time. A business-plan for development of an An-124-100 flight simulator has been made.

Flight Security

Volga-Dnepr Airlines developed its own cargo security system, as the current requirements developed by aviation authorities, including ICAO, are insufficient for regulating cargo transportation.

Volga-Dnepr benefits from a unique database, which has information on 150 airports around the world. The database features information on cargo handling, security and other specifications. A security officer participates in flight preparation. Those crewmembers working directly with cargo are responsible for security. Freighting of unregistered cargo is impossible. The flight crew inspects the aircraft to eliminate security breaches by unauthorised persons and hazardous objects.

Human resources policy

Implementation of an open personnel policy based on the principles of competitive selection.

Employing native specialists in foreign subsidiaries. Establishing an international team. In Britain (Stansted) 90% of the staff are British. In the USA (Houston) 75% are Americans.

Writing the Corporate Code, based on UN's "Global treaty", was launched.

Charity and sponsorship

Volga-Dnepr Airlines is an active participant in charity programmes in Ulyanovsk, the company's headquarters. In particular, last summer Volga-Dnepr leased a Tupolev Tu-154 airliner to fly Ulyanovsk orphans to the Black Sea for a holiday.

Volga-Dnepr's subsidiary in the UK is sponsoring the Russian Chamber Orchestra of London, funding charity performances in London.

For further information, please contact Volga-Dnepr Airlines PR Department:

Moscow: Ulyanovsk:
tel.: (095) 245-57-93tel.: (8422) 20-49-47
fax: (095) 244-28-79fax: (8422) 20-26-75
e-mail: leon@msk.vda.rue-mail: pr@vda.ru

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