Boeing delivered two 747-8 Freighters to AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), part of Volga-Dnepr Group, and one of the leading international scheduled air cargo carriers.
The airplanes are the first to be delivered as part a memorandum of understanding, signed between Boeing and Volga-Dnepr Group at the Paris Air Show in June 2015. The deal calls for more 747-8 Freighters to continue to help ABC provide some of the best cargo carrying service in the world. The agreement also adds the Antonov An-124-100 aircraft to the long-term logistics support for Boeing and its partners.
The planes will be deployed on the expanding network under winter schedule 2015/2016, between Asia and the United States. With these two deliveries, ABC’s fleet now consists of eight 747-8 Freighters, five 747-400 Extended Range Freighters, and two 747-400 Freighters.
The 747-8 Freighter provides cargo operators the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large freighter airplane while providing enhanced environmental performance. It offers 16 percent more revenue cargo volume than the 747-400, while keeping its iconic nose door.
Copyright Photo: Felix Gottwald/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-8HVF VQ-BLQ (msn 37581) arrives in Frankfurt.
Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) and Volga-Dnepr Group (Moscow) (Volga-Dnepr Airlines, Atran Airlines and AirBridgeCargo Airlines), a world leader in transportation of unique, oversize and heavy cargo, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to further the Group’s fleet expansion with 20 additional 747-8 Freighters (above), valued at $7.4 billion at list prices.
The agreement also adds the Antonov-124-100 aircraft (below) to the long-term logistics support for Boeing and its partners.
According to Boeing:
Boeing and Volga Dnepr have a long history of successful partnership. The Group has already supported Boeing in a number of shipments. The unique technical abilities of the Antonov 124-100, along with Volga-Dnepr’s 25 years of global operations and experience gained in transportation of aviation equipment, will further serve Boeing’s logistics needs.
For Volga Dnepr Group, adding more 747-8 Freighters will allow development of the Group’s scheduled business, AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), and keep the airline’s high growth rates. Volga-Dnepr Group was the first to order the Boeing 747-8 Freighter in Russia and took delivery of its first 747-8 Freighter in 2012. These additional 20 airplanes will be acquired through a mix of direct purchases and leasing over the next seven years.
The new 747-8 Freighter gives cargo operators the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large freighter airplane while providing enhanced environmental performance. It is optimized to provide greater revenue cargo-carrying capability than the 747-400, offering 16 percent more cargo volume while keeping its unique nose door.
Volga-Dnepr Group has represented the Russian airfreight industry in the international market since 1990. The Group, which includes three leading Russian all-cargo carriers – Volga-Dnepr Airlines, AirBridgeCargo Airlines and Atran Airlines – has a multinational team of 3,500 employees in fifteen countries.
Volga Dnepr currently operates 10 Antonov An-124-100s and five Ilyushin Il-76TD-90VDs, all modified under the Group special upgrade program and capable of flying to any point of the world. The fleet also includes 14 Boeing 747s – comprised of five Boeing 747-400ERFs (Extended Range Freighters), three Boeing 747-400 Freighters, six Boeing 747-8 Freighters – and three Boeing 737-400Fs.
Top Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. AirBridgeCargo Airlines-ABC Boeing 747-8HVF VQ-BRJ (msn 37670) taxies at Amsterdam.
AirBridgeCargo Airlines-ABC (Moscow-Sheremetyevo), the largest Russian scheduled cargo airline and part of Volga Dnepr Group, is further expanding its services in Central Europe by introducing direct services to/from Munich with a Boeing 747 freighter on May 9.
The new Munich flight to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport will be in addition to the existing 4 weekly Boeing 737 flights operated by Atran Cargo Airlines, also part of Volga Dnepr Group. ABC Boeing 747 all-cargo flight between the Bavarian capital and ABC hub in Moscow (Sheremetyevo) will be on Friday midday, providing ideal end of the week departure time for European customers.
Germany has always been one of the most important markets contributing to ABC’s growth over the last decade. Earlier this year ABC launched scheduled Boeing 747 services to and from Leipzig, extending the Group’s strong association with the airport, where it has invested in a modern aircraft maintenance and repair facility to serve a variety of aircraft types (Boeing 747-200/300/400/8 (CF-50/80, PW4000), Boeing 737CL).
AirBridgeCargo’s scheduled network covers major markets in Asia (China, Japan and Korea), Europe (the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden) and North America (Chicago, Dallas).
The airline’s fleet is one of the youngest in the industry and includes 12 Boeing 747s: four Boeing 747-400ERFs, three Boeing 747-400Fs and five brand new Boeing 747-8Fs. The average fleet age is about 4 years.
Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-8HVF VQ-BLR (msn 37668) taxies at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS).
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.