Over 23 years, Volga-Dnepr Group has been successfully representing the Russian airfreight industry in the international market. The Group is the world leader in the unique, oversize and heavy cargo market. It includes leading airline cargo companies – Volga-Dnepr Airlines and AirBridgeCargo Airlines – which have been honoured with the prestigious “Wings of Russia” national aviation award on many occasions and Atran Airlines. The Group employs 3,500 staff worldwide and has representative offices in nine countries.

The Group’s mission is: We build reliable air bridges for our Partners across the world. Through our work and unique capabilities we change ideas about the air logistics.

The Group’s business is based on air charter flights using unique AN-124-100 and IL-76 ramp freighter aircraft (Volga-Dnepr Airlines) and on scheduled flights operated by a fleet of Boeing 747 all-cargo aircraft (AirBridgeCargo Airlines). It combines the synergies of the two main businesses to offer a full range of air logistics solutions using both chartered and scheduled transportation. This has ensured the dynamic development and growth of the Group and enabled it to compete effectively with the world’s other industry leaders.

Volga-Dnepr has initiated a number of large-scale projects which are important for the development of the Russian aviation industry and transportation system. The major projects include modernization of the IL-76 cargo aircraft, recommencing serial production of the AN-124 “Ruslan” freighter aircraft, and the development of a cargo hub at Sheremetyevo Airport, the first of its kind in Russia.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of business process management and to optimize production, operations and marketing activity, three subgroups have been created within the Group to reflect its core businesses: charter operations, scheduled operations and aircraft maintenance. Volga-Dnepr Group also includes companies which provide customers and partners with additional logistics, insurance and consulting services. The “Volga-Dnepr-Moskva” (LLC) managing company is in charge of strategic management of all structural units within the Group.

The Volga-Dnepr primary leadership strategy is based on “cargo supermarket” concept and complementary operation of the best Russian and foreign-manufactured aircraft. The Group performance and strategic development includes the following principles: future concern, high professionalism, client orientation, financial stability and transparency, safety and leadership as the core business idea of the Group.

Volga-Dnepr provides its customers with a unique expertise and a wide range of logistic services meeting the highest international quality standards.


The managing company was established in 2001. It is responsible for upholding the highest standard of management, for consolidation of intellectual, financial and information resources, and for ensuring economic security. The company prepares the development strategy for the whole Volga-Dnepr Group and is in charge of its implementation. It also oversees the financial and economic performance of the Group.


Volga-Dnepr Airlines Ltd

Volga-Dnepr Airlines operates chartered freight services within the Group. Established in 1990 in Ulyanovsk, it was the first private airfreight company in Russia with a unique business model of providing commercial operations using An-124-100 “Ruslan” freighters to provide previously impossible air logistics solutions. By introducing Ruslan freighters into the civil (non-military) market, Volga-Dnepr Airlines established a new international market segment for non-standard (oversize and heavy) cargo transportation. Nowadays, Volga-Dnepr Airlines is the world leader in this field and the largest operator of An-124 aircraft.

Its fleet includes 10 An-124-100 “Ruslan” and 5 modernized IL-76TD-90VD aircraft. The new version of the aircraft complies with existing and potential noise and emissions requirements set by ICAO and is approved for worldwide operations without limitations. The aircraft were manufactured between the years 2006-2010 by the Tashkent Aviation Production Association named after V.P.Chkalov.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ client list includes many of the world’s largest industrial corporations such as Lockheed Martin, The Boeing Company, Airbus, Alcatel, Astrium, Bombardier, British Petroleum, Exxon Mobil, British Aerospace, General Electric, Bedford Group, Ericsson Air Crane, and Starsem. The company also takes an active part in providing support to peacekeeping and humanitarian missions conducted by international governmental organisations from across the globe.

In 2002, Volga-Dnepr Airlines implemented a Quality Management System based on the ISO 9001:2000 international standard. In 2007, Volga-Dnepr Airlines was the first Russian airfreight company to pass the IOSA audit for compliance with new IATA standards. In 2009, the company passed this audit for the second time and its IOSA certificate was extended until 2011.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA). The company has been certified to service all stages of the full production cycle ranging from training flight crews and carrying out international flights to conducting all types of aircraft maintenance. The maintenance standards have been approved by the American, British and Canadian aviation authorities.

In 2009, Volga-Dnepr Airlines won the highest award of the Baltic Air Charter Association at its BACA Excellence Awards, being voted ‘Best Cargo Charter Airline’. In March 2010, following the results of the annual survey conducted by Air Cargo World magazine, the company received its Air Cargo Award of Excellence for the Air Carrier category.


Volga-Dnepr UK Ltd. is based at London’s Stansted Airport in the United Kingdom. Its core activities involve coordination of airline charter operations (AN-124-100, IL-76 and Boeing 747) and support to the businesses of the Group as a whole in the European region. In 2008, the Engineering and Logistic Centre was created and is based with Volga-Dnepr (UK) Ltd. It consolidates services of the Group in order to provide customers with the whole range of end-to-end logistic services including multi-modal transportation and specialist logistics solutions required to transport unique and oversize cargo. Today, Volga-Dnepr UK is the main centre for marketing and sales of the Group’s charter operations.

Volga-Dnepr UK Ltd. was established in 1999 as a representative office of the airline in order to interact with its then British partner within a joint venture framework. Since February 2001, VD UK has been operating independently.


The US branch was established in 2000 to promote Volga-Dnepr services in the North and South American markets. It deals with Volga-Dnepr marketing and sales in the region. The branch is situated in Houston, Texas. At present Volga-Dnepr - Unique Air Cargo Inc. generates about 30% of Volga-Dnepr’s total global operations.


Volga-Dnepr Ireland Ltd was established in 1996 for AN-124-100 maintenance. The line maintenance station certified in 1997 was originally located in Shannon, Ireland, with a production base to perform the entire range of maintenance, repair and inspection of AN-124-100 aircraft. In September 2006, this maintenance facility was moved to Leipzig following the expansion of the Group’s presence in the German market. The Shannon office now deals with handling services and provides financial support to flights.


For the last 16 years, Volga-Dnepr Airlines has been a designated cargo carrier between Russia and China. The Volga-Dnepr China subsidiary was established at the end of 1994 in Beijing, China and now has two sales offices in Beijing and Shanghai. The affiliate company is responsible for supporting the Group’s scheduled and charter flights as well as coordination of the Group’s activities in East and Southeast Asia.


Ruslan SALIS GmbH was established in 2004 in Leipzig by its joint founder partners, Volga-Dnepr Group (Russia) and Antonov Design Bureau (Ukraine). The company won an international tender for air transportation support to anti-terrorist, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. At present 17 Western European countries and Canada participate in the SALIS project (Strategic Airlift Interim Solution). In October 2006, a modern maintenance base for the AN-124-100 was established within the Ruslan SALIS GmbH framework to further improve service and reliability levels and provided for all contract terms to be duly fulfilled.


In June 2006, Volga-Dnepr Airlines (Russia) and Antonov Airlines (Ukraine) established a joint venture - Ruslan International Ltd - in order to maximize the utilization of the combined AN-124-100 commercial fleet. It became the airlines’ shared marketing agent in the world freight market for AN-124-100 aircraft and has a total combined fleet of 17 Ruslan freighters (10 belong to Volga-Dnepr Airlines and 7 are owned by Antonov Airlines). The joint operation of the Russian and Ukrainian fleets allows for more expeditious airfreight services and helps clients use the aircraft’s air logistics advantages in the most effective way. The joint venture is registered in the UK.



AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) is in charge of scheduled freight operations within Volga-Dnepr Group. Set up in 2004, the company was the first Russian cargo airline to operate Boeing 747 freighters. The current ABC fleet includes 12 Boeing 747 (four B747-400ERF, three B-747400F, five B-747-8F). Among its key clients are leading worldwide freight forwarders such as Panalpina, DHL, CITS, Nippon Express, CEVA, UTi, Schenker, Dachser, UCS, and Hellmann.

AirBridgeCargo performs flights on major strategic routes in Russia, Europe and Asia. Its route network includes 21 destinations in 11 countries: ABC performs scheduled flights from the largest Asian cities (Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Zhengzhou, Tokyo and Seoul) to the key European hubs of Frankfurt and Amsterdam and also from Moscow through Amsterdam to Chicago (USA). As a whole, its route network in Europe includes Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Zaragoza, Milan and Paris. In Central Asia, it serves Almaty, Atyrau. The company has representative offices in USA (Chicago), Russia (Ekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk), while the head office of AirBridgeCargo Airlines is in Moscow.

Carriage of freight on strategic routes is conducted via Moscow using two key airports, Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo.

AirBridgeCargo has taken an active part in establishing the hub at Sheremetyevo airport. Hub operations enable ABC to reallocate freight among various flights and have allowed the airline to improve its business model through its transition from linehaul to network services. This has significantly expanded the company’s range of services. Expertise gained from establishing hub operations at Sheremetyevo airport will help the company with the further implementation of its network delivery model, which includes establishing new freight hubs within the Russia territory.



In 2008, Volga-Dnepr Group launched a project to establish a network of approved Maintenance and Repair Organizations (MROs) providing services for both foreign and Russia-built aircraft, under a single Volga-Dnepr Technics brand. To date, four key facilities have been established:

  • Volga-Dnepr Technics - Moscow (Sheremetyevo International Airport)
  • Volga-Dnepr Gulf (Sharjah, UAE)
  • Volga-Dnepr Technics - Ulyanovsk (Ulyanovsk-Vostochny International Airport)
  • Volga-Dnepr Technics GmbH (Leipzig, Germany)

Volga-Dnepr Technics - Moscow provides line maintenance services for B747s at Sheremetyevo Intl Airport, Moscow. Its range of services include line maintenance under EASA Part-145 approval (obtained November 2009) and also support services, engineering and supply of components for repair.

Volga-Dnepr Gulf provides line and scheduled maintenance services for Russian-built aircraft of the following types: ĄN-124-100, IL-76ŅD-90VD, ĄN-24/26/32, ĄN-74, and IL-76TD. The company also plans to start maintenance services for B747s within the scope to include C-check in the fourth quarter of 2010 upon completion of a new maintenance hangar. The facility will accommodate two ĄN-124-100s or two 747s, one IL-76 or three smaller aircraft.

Development of up-to-date MRO infrastructure at Ulyanovsk-Vostochny International Airport is considered as the most important objective in Volga-Dnepr Technics’ strategy. In 2008, Volga-Dnepr Group was the first company to express its readiness to become a resident of the Special Economic Port Zone (SEPZ) established in Ulyanovsk and plans to develop a logistics complex meeting global standards. The company also has plans for the construction of aircraft maintenance and repair stations as well as a logistics and business centre. By 2015, in the SEPZ facility, Volga-Dnepr Technics plans to perform A, C, and D maintenance checks, conversions of Boeing and Airbus aircraft and also maintenance work on Russian-built airplanes.

Presently, Volga-Dnepr Technics is working to open its own MRO at Leipzig Airport, Germany, with the development scheduled for 2011. A complex task for Volga-Dnepr Technics is expanding the range of aircraft types on the company’s MRO Certificate to increase its range of services and client base.



To consolidate the organisational and finance resources needed to implement the extensive IL-76 modernisation programme, Volga-Dnepr-Leasing was established within the Group in 2004. Due to the company’s consistent efforts by 2010 Volga-Dnepr Airlines had added three new IL-76ŅD-90VD freighters to its fleet, built at the Tashkent-based ŅĄPĪ aircraft factory. The modernised IL-76ŅD-90VD is compliant with all current and perspective ICAO requirements and has been approved for worldwide flight operations without any limitations, including to major markets such as the EU, North America, Australia and Japan, which were previously closed for IL-76 operations.

The Ilyushin IL-76 large ramp transport aircraft is the only existing civil freighter in the 30-50 ton payload segment capable of carrying outsize cargo to virtually any airport in the world. Over 20 years, it has been one of the most sought-after commercial aircraft in global cargo aviation. The extensive modernization programme implemented by Volga-Dnepr Group has extended the operating life of the IL-76 by more than 25 years and reestablished its justified place in the global market.

VOLGA-TRUCKS, affiliate to Volga-Dnepr Airlines Ltd

The affiliated company was established in 1997, initially as a Trucking Division of Volga-Dnepr Airlines, to ensure door-to-door freight deliveries. Volga-Trucks is a Full Member of the International Road Transport Convention and a holder of a license for all types of transportation, the All-Russia Bonded Carrier license, which enables it to conduct freight carriage under internal customs transit procedures. Volga-Trucks transports liquid food payloads in truck tankers as well as general goods in isothermal and tented trailers, and refrigerators. Volga-Trucks’ operating network covers the Northern and Southern parts of Russia. Its fleet consists of 33 foreign-made trucks with 1.5 to 22-ton capacity.


Since 1995, NIC has been among the largest and fastest growing insurance companies in the Privolzhski Federal Territory. The Company provides insurance coverage for major aviation risks for Volga-Dnepr Group. Its considerable potential is supported by an effective reinsurance system based close cooperation with leading foreign insurance companies. NIC has also been successful in developing non-aviation types of insurance in the interests of Volga-Dnepr Group and its personnel, i.e. voluntary medical insurance, accident insurance, insurance of motor transport, property and liability. This also includes life insurance, additional retirement insurance, and accident insurance covered by NIC-Life, an affiliate of NIC.


NIC-Life, an affiliate to NIC, was established to expand the range of insurance services offered by the parent company. Since 27 December 2006, NIC-Life has provided coverage for life insurance and additional retirement benefits to Volga-Dnepr Group personnel upon receiving relevant portfolio information from the parent company.


To provide company personnel and Ulyanovsk citizens with general or special-purpose English training, in 1994 a new training centre was established within the Group - Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ International Training Division. In 2004, the facility received the status of Aviation Training Centre and was issued with an Extended Education License. Volga-Dnepr International Training is now viewed as one of the best training companies in the industry.

Currently, Volga-Dnepr IT provides education services using 52 professional training programmes for flight and technical personnel of the Group and also other companies in the industry. In addition it offers 80 language training programmes for English, French and German languages. ATC provides training for Instructor Pilots of the Group and tutors from other training facilities across Russia and makes arrangements for hands-on language training in foreign states. Currently, it is working to establish a Corporate University.


GLA Cargo Aircraft Managing Company was established in January 2007 to promote resumed serial production of the ĄN-124-100 freighter family - a key strategic project of Volga-Dnepr.

In the mid-1990s, Russian-based production of the world’s largest serial freighter was halted. Nevertheless, after 20 years of operation in the commercial market, the ĄN-124 has become an essential part of the complex logistics solutions for outsize and heavy freight. No other cargo airplane in existence has comparable capabilities. Under its fleet optimisation and modernisation programme, in 2008 the Group placed an inquiry with the United Aircraft Corporation (OAK) for 40 ĄN-124s based on a new ĄN-124-100Ģ-150VD model for delivery by the year 2027, thus becoming the launch customer of the new freighter model.

Among the most important milestones in the resumed production project was agreement on the technical requirements for the new airplane between ĪĄŹ, Antonov DB and Volga-Dnepr Group. At the end of August 2009, Central Aerohydrodynamics Institute (TsĄGI) agreed a technical statement on the service life period of the AN-124-100 Ruslan transport aircraft and its versions. The statement served as an additional argument in favour to resuming serial production of the airplane at the Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar-Sp aircraft factory.

According to the approved technical requirements, a new version of the 124, the Ąn-124-300, will have a 150 tons payload capacity and a 4,000 km operating range with maximum payload (15,000 km with zero payload). Flight crew will be reduced to three members. Another important element of the new technical requirements is the extensive modernisation of the aircraft’s equipment and improvements in its operating performance.

In December 2009, Russian Federation President issued Order Pr-3368HS regarding incorporation into the State Arms Programme by 2020, a procurement for Russia military of 20 new ĄN-124 Ruslan transport aircraft.