Volga-Dnepr Group / Press-center / Media Coverage

Tatyana Shipping Large & Loving It


Russian AirBridge Cargo’s top executive, Tatyana Arslanova, is one of the rare women currently in command of a freight carrier. Appointed in February 2010, she became responsible for the carrier’s overall strategy, network development, operational management, strategic alliances and quality items. She gave Air Cargo News FlyingTypers this exclusive interview.

It was a year ago that we asked Tatyana when exactly service to the U.S. would start. Back then we were given an answer of fall 2011, but it seems AirBridge Cargo has jumped the gun on its own prediction.

“Indeed we have already started U.S. service. Having previously planned to start services to the U.S. by September this year, our time of preparation went much faster than anticipated and therefore we decided to launch a dedicated freighter service MOW-AMS-CHI-AMS-MOW three times weekly with one of our Boeing 747-400F.

“Getting America ‘online’ is a big step in our company history and we are happy to have had a smooth start with the maiden flight having taken off from Moscow heading via Amsterdam into Chicago O'Hare airport April 30th.

“So it was a successful and smooth start of the first ever scheduled freighter operation between Russia and The U.S.

“We are looking forward to introducing and establishing our brand on the U.S. market. Network Cargo Systems International was chosen to serve as GSA, but Tatyana assures us that ABC in North America will have its own staff and office based in Chicago.

ABC’s fleet currently consists of two Boeing 747-200Fs, one Boeing 747-300SF, three Boeing 747-400F and five Boeing 747-400ERF. But that isn’t all.

“This year is also going to be another milestone for our company with the delivery of our first Boeing 747-8F.”

2010 was a fantastic year for ABC, “one of the best years in the history of ABC, which was reflected in our final figures,” Tatyana assures.

“We saw a 51 percent increase in tonnage, mainly achieved by introduction of new destinations (Seoul, Paris, Malmoe and Zhengzhou), fleet development with four additional freighters added to our fleet and development of our hub operations in both Moscow airports SVO and DME.

“Our FTK increased by 63.7 percent in 2010.”

The new year, which has been redolent with rising fuel costs and natural disasters worldwide, is something for which ABC shows a little positive caution.

“We are certainly trying to be optimistic in forecasting our results for 2011.

“2010 was a fascinating period with significant economic recovery gaining momentum at year’s end. At the moment, the market is coming out of its record period of 2010 and we will see significant increase of capacity with deliveries of new airplanes and re-introduction of previously parked Boeing 747-400 freighters.

“The main challenge for all markets will be keeping both increased capacity and market demand in a balanced position.

“We expect market volatility, especially in Asia due to mounting capacity increase. “We expect additional pressures besides market volatility from growing competition and - especially within our Russian home market - a lack of qualified personnel (crews, engineers, etc.) to guarantee ABC’s further growth.

“Last but not least, the delivery of our first B747-8F still remains an open question. With E-Freight as one of the hot topics on the agenda for all in air cargo, we find ABC considering it as closely and carefully as everyone else in the industry.

“It’s on our priority list to begin with in 2011,” says Tatyana.

“I would like to emphasize our upcoming network expansion (North America), plans to set up market representation at places we are serving already (Korea) and efforts to further develop business at secondary Chinese airports like Zhengzhou.

“This is complemented by endeavors to strengthen our influence at our Russian home market and quality improvements through reorganizing processes at Russian airports (e.g. new ramp services at SVO).

“To make it short: we will adhere to our strategy of seamless growth, which includes further fleet and network expansion. Our focus will be on quality, simplicity of doing business, and trying to follow not only industry initiatives (such as C2K, e-freight, etc.) but also optimize our internal procedures and processes as well.”


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