Volga-Dnepr Posts Record Operating Results in 2000


Moscow (Russia)

Volga-Dnepr Airlines logged a 19 percent increase in sales volume during 2000, increasing its share of the worldwide market for superheavy and outsized air cargo to a record 61 percent.

The Russian operator's commercial sales last year grew by 6.4 percent in 2000 and reached $125 million, generated by 8,765 flight hours flown with its specialized fleet of 10 Antonov An-124 transports - the world's largest civil cargo airliner. The hours op-erated last year were 11 percent higher than in 1999.

Volga-Dnepr estimates the overall market for the airlift of outsized and super-heavy cargo worldwide reached a combined total of $208 million.

"Our outstanding results in 2000 clearly show that we chose the right marketing and operations strategies," Alexey Isaikin, Volga-Dnepr General Director, said. "This strategy is based on modernizing and growing our aircraft fleet, expanding our own in-ternational marketing efforts, and improving the internal management system."

Volga-Dnepr carried 31.6 thousands metric tons of cargo in 2000. Of this total, 28 percent was for the airlift of aerospace hardware and equipment, such as satellites, launch vehicle stages and fuselage sections for aircraft. Humanitarian missions - in-cluding flights operated under contract to the United Nations - represented another 26 percent of the cargo volume in 2000, while the transportation of heavy manufacturing equipment accounted for 12 percent.

Isaikin said one of Volga-Dnepr's major achievements last year was the mod-ernisation and expansion of its An-124-100 fleet of specialized cargo aircraft. The air-line added new An-124-100 in 2000, bringing the total number of aircraft to 10. This lat-est airlifter was built to order for the airline at the Aviastar production facility in Ulya-novsk, Russia.

Volga-Dnepr also worked closely with the Antonov Design Bureau - which de-veloped the An-124-100 - to extend the very large aircraft's operating life to up to 24,000 flight hours.

In outlining Volga-Dnepr's 2001 activity, Isaikin said the airline will focus on strengthening and extending its international market position, further improving the cor-porate management system and developing the airline's own sales network. "To achieve these goals, Volga-Dnepr will need a major restructuring of its operations, which will be centralized under a new management company to be created this year," he said.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines was established in 1990 in Ulyanovsk and is the most expe-rienced carrier world-wide of superheavy and outsized cargoes. The airline currently operates a fleet of ten Antonov An-124-100 Ruslans, the largest aircraft in the world, that is 48% of the An-124 global fleet.

The An-124-100's unique capabilities and outstanding performance together with special loading systems developed by the company's technical department allow Volga-Dnepr to keep its leadership in this field. Among Volga-Dnepr's clients are such brand-names as General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Hughes, British Petroleum and Bombar-dier Aerospace as well as governments and prominent international organizations.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines has won the "Wings Of Russia" National Award as Cargo Airline of the Year, three years running, in 1997, 1998 and 1999.

For more information, please, contact:

PR department of Volga-Dnepr Airlines

Tel.: +7 095 245-5793; Fax: +7 095 244-2879;

E-mail: leon@msk.vda.ru

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