AirBridgeCargo-ABC (Moscow), part of Volga-Dnepr Group and Russia’s largest cargo airline, recently celebrated the delivery of the airline’s fifth 747-8 Freighter (VQ-BRJ, msn 37670) on December 27, 2013.
With delivery of the fifth 747-8 Freighter, AirBridgeCargo continues to follow its long-term fleet modernization strategy to further improve the quality of its product. The new aircraft will be used on ABC’s existing route network linking Europe, Asia and the United States via the airline’s hub in Moscow.
At present AirBridgeCargo’s fleet consists of 12 Boeing 747s, including five Boeing 747-400ERFs (Extended Range Freighters), three Boeing 747-400 Freighters and five Boeing 747-8 Freighters.
The carrier achieved a 5% growth in cargo tonnage in 2013, with its highest ever volume of 340,000 tons across its network linking Europe, Russia, Asia and North America.
The airline reported volume growth on all of its major routes and this was matched by a 5% improvement in revenue. AirBridgeCargo’s Freight Ton-Kilometers (FTK) rose 15% in 2013, while its average load factor of 72% show a marginal 1.7% gain over the previous year.
Despite challenging market conditions in 2013, ABC continued with its long-term fleet modernisation strategy and took delivery of two more new generation freighters Boeing 747-8F. With the delivery of its fifth Boeing 747-8F in December 2013, AirBridgeCargo completed its fleet renewal plan which began two years ago. This investment has reduced the average age of its aircraft fleet from nine years at the end of 2011 to three years at the end of 2013. At present, ABC’s fleet is one of the youngest in the air cargo industry.
AirBridgeCargo took delivery of its first Boeing 747-8F (VQ-BLQ) (see above) in January 2012, with the second and third aircraft joining its fleet in March and December 2012. The fourth new generation freighter entered service with ABC in September last year. As part of the modernization program, ABC removed four older aircraft from its fleet; two Boeing 747-200F, one Boeing 747-300F and a Boeing 747-400ERF. A further 747-400ERF will leave its fleet in 2014.
In 2013, AirBridgeCargo joined the Olympic movement with the delivery of 126 tons of broadcasting equipment as well as 214 tons of sports and lighting equipment for the 2014 Winter Olympics taking place in the Russia City of Sochi in February. The flights were performed using Boeing 747 and Boeing 737 cargo aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. The first, Boeing 747-8HVF VQ-BLQ (msn 37581) taxies at Frankfurt.