Friday, 19 December 2014

AirBridgeCargo Airlines implements paperless cockpit with IT from Lufthansa Systems

Pilots to use digital navigation charts and briefing documents on iPads
Kelsterbach, December 19, 2014 – AirBridgeCargo (ABC) has commenced using Lufthansa Systems' Lido/iRouteManual, Lido/Enroute and Lido/DocView IT solutions aimed at simplifying cockpit processes. The new IT solutions will ease the workload of ABC pilots by providing fast access to continually updated documents and data and reduce the airline's operational costs at the same time. The new technology will be saving ABC a significant amount per year. The airline plans to fully switch to the electronic cockpit by February 2015.

Lido/iRouteManual and the associated apps are optimized for use on the Apple iPad. The navigation solution includes general maps, takeoff and landing charts, instrument flight rules (IFR) charts and depictions of airport runways. The crews can download the required charts to their iPads and use them for flight preparation whenever they want, in the briefing room, in a hotel or at home. The charts are generated directly from the Lido navigation database and are always up to date. With Lido/Enroute, ABC pilots can display the route on interactive charts on their iPad as well.

With the mobile Lido/DocView solution and web-based Lido/DVMS add-on, pilots have all the necessary documents and notifications from operations control at their fingertips. The user interface is accessed through an app and can be individually configured by the user.


About AirBridgeCargo Airlines
AirBridgeCargo Airlines is one of the world's fastest-growing air cargo carriers. It provides trans-regional services between the largest air cargo markets from Asia to Europe and the United States via its hub in Moscow. The airline operates modern fleet of 13 Boeing 747 freighters, including the six new generation 747-8F. The airline has established itself as a high-quality and reliable air cargo carrier with a team of international cargo specialists and individual approach to each customer.

About Lufthansa Systems
Lufthansa Systems provides consulting and IT services for selected industries and has a leading position in the global aviation industry. The wholly-owned subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group offers its customers the entire range of IT services, including consulting, development and implementation of industry solutions as well as operations. With its head office in Kelsterbach near Frankfurt, the company operates a global data center network. Lufthansa Systems has offices in Germany and 16 other countries and employs about 2,700 people. In business year 2013, Lufthansa Systems recorded revenues of EUR 640 million.


AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), the largest Russian scheduled cargo airline, has delivered express cargo for NASA from Chicago to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

The cargo arrived in Moscow on December 18 in the bulk hold of ABC’s Boeing 747 freighter flight RU404 as part of its journey to the international space station.

“We are committed to always providing the best possible services for all cargo shipments, including transporting cargoes which require temperature control, freight that needs special loading/offloading procedures or so-called bulk shipments which are usually last-minute deliveries for customers. We are happy we could help the astronauts in the international space station, who are on the threshold of a new scientific breakthrough,” said Robert Van de Weg, ABC’s Vice President, Sales & Marketing.


Tuesday, 9 December 2014


Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has signed a co-operative agreement with ATA Italia to jointly market their respective cargo, ramp and passenger ground handling services to airline customers in Italy.

The agreement, signed by Olivier Bijaoui, President & CEO of WFS, and Mario Sisto, President of ATA Italia, will enable the two companies to provide a full range of ground handling services to airlines at Italy’s major airports. WFS and ATA Italia will also jointly explore other business development opportunities in Italy.

ATA Italia was founded in 1996 in the wake of the liberalisation of the Italian ground handling market. It operates from five locations; Milan Malpensa, Rome Fiumicino, Milan Linate, Venezia and Catania and serves over 50 international airlines, including Air France-KLM, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, easyjet, Emirates Airline, Iberia and US Airways. In addition to passenger and baggage handling and ramp services, it also provides station supervision and administration, aircraft servicing and cleaning, surface transport for passengers and crew, flight operations and crew assistance, load control, and ULD control and management. The company handles over 35,000 flights a year and has an annual turnover of some €40 million.    

Olivier Bijaoui said: “This is an important agreement for us because it provides an opportunity to increase our presence in the growing air cargo and ground handling markets in Italy and will hopefully lead to further opportunities with ATA Italia. We will offer the best combination of local market knowledge and international expertise and we believe airlines in Italy will find this proposition very appealing.”

Mario Sisto added: “A challenging partnership and a fruitful cooperation; this is what we expect by signing such an important commercial agreement. ATA Italia is proud to be a partner of WFS, a world leader in air cargo and ground handling, and we are ready to work and contribute together to open up the great potential of the market in Italy as much as possible. In the same way, thanks to the new alliance, we will look at new opportunities outside of our country and we could not count on a better sponsor. We are sure that our customers and the market in Italy will see a strong benefit from this new agreement.”

WFS was founded in 1971 and is a leading global provider of ground handling and technical services, and the world’s largest cargo handler. Today it is present at over 140 major airports in more than 20 countries on five continents. WFS serves 300 airlines globally, handling four million tonnes of cargo and serving 50 million airline passengers per annum. The company employs 10,000 staff worldwide and reported revenues for 2013 of €620 million.
In September, WFS was awarded the handling concession for a new 5,000 sq. mt. cargo terminal at Milan Malpensa Airport, part of a major investment programme to increase the airport’s cargo capacity to one million tonnes a year by 2020. Prior to commencing operations in the new cargo centre in early 2016, WFS will invest in excess of €1.8 million to equip the facility with modern handling systems and the necessary logistics infrastructure.
The air market in Italy grew by 1.5% in 2013 to 907,000 tonnes and is expected to increase by a further 2.5% this year.

Friday, 5 December 2014


Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has won a three-year contract to provide full cargo handling services for Singapore Airlines Cargo at London Heathrow and at all of its UK regional locations.

The contract takes effect in January 2015 and will see WFS handle some 46,000 tonnes of cargo a year for the airline. Singapore Airlines Cargo operates two Boeing 747 freighter services a week from the UK with a payload of 100 tonnes per flight and provides cargo uplift for Singapore Airlines’ twice daily Airbus A380 flights and twice-daily B777-300 from London to Singapore, each offering between 10 and 27 tonnes of cargo capacity respectively.

At London Heathrow, Singapore Airlines Cargo will be handled in WFS’ Building 550 in the World Cargo Centre, which is undergoing significant investment prior to the start of the contract. This will provide new equipment and systems, more cargo acceptance doors and extra operational offices, and see the refurbishment of offices for Singapore Airlines Cargo’s team based at Heathrow.

WFS has also been awarded the ramp transportation contract for Singapore Airlines at London Heathrow.

Patrick Roberts, Vice President UK & Ireland for WFS, said: “Having provided cargo handling services to Singapore Airlines Cargo in Manchester for some 20 years, we are extremely proud that this new contract now makes us the airline’s sole handler in the UK and Ireland. Singapore Airlines Cargo is a major cargo carrier with a strong reputation for the quality of its freight services. This contract is a significant addition to our business in the UK and Ireland. It is also a tribute to the service levels provided by the WFS teams at all of our locations that we have been successful in what was, not surprisingly, a very competitive tender process.”  

WFS is the largest on-airport cargo handler at London Heathrow, with more than 280,000 square feet of freight facilities. In September this was boosted by the opening of a further 50,000 sq ft location in Scylla Road at the airport, adjacent to the World Cargo Centre. In the UK and Ireland, WFS also operates cargo centres at London Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow, as well as at Luton, Bristol, Leeds-Bradford, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dublin, Shannon and Cork.   

WFS was founded in 1971 and is a leading global provider of ground handling and technical services, and the world’s largest cargo handler. Today, it is present at some 140 major airports in more than 20 countries on five continents. WFS serves 300 airlines globally, handling four million tonnes of cargo and serving 50 million airline passengers per annum. The company employs 10,000 staff worldwide and reported revenues for 2013 of €620 million.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014


Virgin Atlantic Cargo is to sponsor the British International Freight Association’s (BIFA) ‘Young Freight Forwarder of the Year’ award for the fourth consecutive year to promote the international career opportunities the industry has to offer to motivated and talented young people.

The Young Freight Forwarder category is open to individuals working for a BIFA Member company who are under the age of 32, with, preferably, a minimum of two years’ employment in the freight industry. Individuals are nominated by their employers for the award and the winner is selected by a judging panel led by BIFA’s Director General, Robert Keen.

The winner will receive their award at the annual BIFA Freight Awards Ceremony luncheon in London on January 22, 2015, which brings together over 500 executives from the British freight industry. 

Robert Keen said: “It's great to have a global brand that is so well-known by the younger generation as the sponsor of this award. Getting young people into freight forwarding and logistics is vital. They are the future of the industry, which offers an amazing variety of opportunities for personal development and early career progression.”

John Lloyd, Director of Cargo at Virgin Atlantic, said: “We are proud to sponsor this award and to support BIFA’s commitment to attract and develop the next generation of freight industry leaders. We understand the 2013 winner Phoebe Rockwood of Damco UK is continuing to make great progress in her career development and now has full responsibility for one of Damco’s biggest European accounts. Phoebe also represented Damco UK in a recent Maersk Group training and development session in The Hague that focused on diversity in the Group and career progression into senior positions. We hope the next winner of the award will be equally inspired to realise their potential.”

Writing the introduction to a new ‘Air Logistics Handbook’, published last year, Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Group, urged university graduates, college students and school leavers to explore a career in air logistics. He said: “Air travel has transformed all of our lives and helps us experience different cultures and make new friends all over the world. However, airlines are not only about passengers. To make them work successfully, you also need to build a growing and award-winning cargo service and at Virgin we’ve done that too. Air logistics is a phenomenal industry and has become even more important not only to the success of airlines but also to every consumer and business leader around the world. I encourage you to explore the many career opportunities this outstanding industry offers.”

The BIFA Freight Service Awards competition is in its 26th year. The competition encourages and rewards high standards and professionalism, representing the ultimate recognition of special achievements in different sectors of the industry. BIFA is the trade association for UK-registered companies engaged in the international movement of freight by all modes of transport and has some 1,500 freight forwarder members.


Monday, 1 December 2014


Volga-Dnepr Gulf, Volga-Dnepr Technics’ subgroup branch in the Middle East, has successfully performed its first A-check on a Boeing 737-400 for the Slovenian airline SolinAir.  

The work was completed in Volga-Dnepr Gulf’s MRO hangar at Sharjah airport. In addition, the Volga-Dnepr maintenance team carried out additional works, replacing some components and aircraft washing.
Volga-Dnepr Gulf obtained its EASA Part 145 approval in October 2014, gaining authorisation to provide line maintenance for Boeing 737CL & NG, 747-400 and Airbus A320 Family aircraft, as well as component repair (C4, C5, C8, C14, C20 Ratings) and non-destructive testing (D1 Rating) services.
“SolinAir has been a Volga-Dnepr Gulf customer for transit and daily checks since August 2014 and we signed a long-term agreement for line maintenance services and A-checks for SolinAir’s fleet of two Boeing 737CL’s in November. We are sure that our experienced staff and modern facilities will form a solid base to build a mutually beneficial relationship between our companies,” said Volga-Dnepr Gulf’s Managing Director, Viktor Sherin.

Volga-Dnepr Gulf has been operating in the UAE since 1996. The company has a new hangar in Sharjah with a production area of some 22,000m². The hangar can provide maintenance for up to six narrow-body (B737, A320, IL-76) or two wide-body (B747 or An-124-100) aircraft at the same time and is fully equipped to perform high quality maintenance for different types of aircraft up to C-check. It also has modern air conditioning and fire safety systems.

Volga-Dnepr also operates a further line maintenance station in Fujairah which, similar to the Sharjah station, is capable of providing all types of maintenance checks and auxiliary services for An-124-100, An-74 and IL-76TD aircraft types operated by Russian, Ukrainian, European, Asian and African airlines.
Volga-Dnepr Gulf will be exhibiting its services to airline customers at the MRO Middle East 2015 international event in Dubai in February.


Wednesday, 19 November 2014


The Upper Stage Breeze-M Unit of the Proton-M space vehicle has been delivered to Baikonur onboard a Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ An-124-100 freighter to facilitate the launch of the Russian Yamal-401 communications satellite.

The 6,500 kilos Breeze-M was part of a 25 ton shipment flown from Moscow to Yubileyniy Airport on 10 November. The cargo also included the special container for the Breeze-M component and auxiliary equipment. Volga-Dnepr will also carry the container back to Moscow.

Volga-Dnepr conducted the flight on behalf of the Khrunichev State Space Research and Production Center, whose representatives were waiting in Kazakhstan to prepare for the launch of the space vehicle.

Aerospace cargo transportation is one of the major areas of Volga-Dnepr Airlines' business and it employs experts with considerable knowledge and experience in this area. During the first nine months of 2014, Volga-Dnepr’s An-124-100 freighters performed 138 flights and its IL-76TD-90VD aircraft operated three flights transporting satellite equipment. In total, the company has operated more than 760 flights carrying aerospace cargoes on its An-124s and a further 119 flights using its IL-76TD-90VD aircraft over the course of its history.



Virgin Atlantic Cargo has given its support to a conservation project led by the governments of Montserrat and Dominica and zoological experts in the UK, Jersey and Sweden to save the critically-endangered mountain chicken frog, one of the largest frogs in the world.

Working closely with JCS Livestock a division of James Cargo Services Ltd, the airline carried 57 frogs bred at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey and ZSL London Zoo as part of a conservation project on its scheduled flight to Antigua. For the final leg of their journey, the frogs boarded a charter flight to Montserrat.  

All of the frogs arrived ‘home’ safely in Montserrat, where they were placed in a temporary holding facility to be rehydrated and rested for several days before being taken into the forest and released into the wild. At the release site special tents filled with leaf litter were used as release areas for the frogs, enabling them to leave when they were ready. All of the frogs are radio tagged and will be closely monitored for six weeks after their release by the programme’s field team.   

John Lloyd, Director of Cargo at Virgin Atlantic, said: “Virgin is passionate about conservation. This is the latest project the airline has been able to support and we hope it will lead to a sustainable recovery of the mountain chicken frog in its natural habitat.”

The mountain chicken frog is the largest of all living Leptodactylus species. It can reach a head and body length of over 20cms, weigh over 900g and live for up to 12 years. However, on their native island home of Montserrat and Dominica, the frogs are on the brink of extinction as a result of habitat loss due to the volcano in Monserrat and the fungal disease Chytridiomycosis on both islands, which has resulted in a mortality rate of over 90%.

The Mountain Chicken Frog Recovery Program is a partnership between Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Zoological Society of London, North of England Zoological Society Chester Zoo, Parken Zoo in Sweden and the Governments of Montserrat and Dominica. The frogs are classified as critically endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and this project is part of a global study to fight the chytrid fungus disease. 

In support of a separate conservation project in cooperation with JCS Livestock & the Government of Anguilla, Virgin Atlantic Cargo has also flown 9 endangered Anguillan Racer Snakes from Antigua to London Gatwick. The snakes are part of a breeding programme being coordinated by Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.


Photo courtesy of the Mountain Chicken Project

Monday, 17 November 2014


AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), part of Volga-Dnepr Group and Russia’s largest cargo airline, has delivered Formula 3 cars to China to compete in the Macao Grand Prix.

Containers with cars and their spare parts were transported on a Boeing 747-400F charter flight, with the total shipment weighing 100 tons. The aircraft operated from Luxembourg to Macau with a technical stop in Moscow.

The main races of the Grand Prix - the Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup and the World Touring Car Championship - are supported by the FIA, the governing body of world motor sport. In addition, the weekend of racing events will include a motorcycle competition featuring current and former members of the World Superbike Championship and the Pacific Championship race of Formula BMW as well as other competitions for local racers.

“Just like racing car drivers we know time is of the essence. No matter the type of race or style of race car, all of these vehicles have to get to their final destination on time and safely. We make sure our 'race cargo' is always delivered in top condition,” said Alexander Roschupkin, ABC’s Commercial Director.

The 61st Macau Grand Prix took on November 13-16, 2014.


Friday, 14 November 2014


Volga-Dnepr Airlines has delivered 45 tons of humanitarian supplies from Zurich, Switzerland, to Erbil International Airport for victims of the civil unrest in Iraq.

The airline’s IL-76TD-90VD freighter carried 905 tents, 6,000 blankets and mattresses, and 600 kitchen sets for refugee camps in the region. The flight was contracted by one of Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ logistics partners, Air Charter Service.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines has been supporting humanitarian and peacekeeping missions for more than 20 years. Over this period, it has transported more than 68,000 tons of humanitarian cargo to 93 countries onboard 1,072 flights operated by its unique An-124-100 and IL-76TD-90VD freighter fleet.
In 2002, Volga-Dnepr Airlines transported a hospital and medical equipment to Congo as part of a United Nations’ peacekeeping mission. In the same year, Volga-Dnepr Airlines became the first civil company to begin humanitarian flights to Afghanistan under the UN programme.

Volga-Dnepr’s urgent aid missions around the world have also included the delivery of relief goods for victims of the devastating tsunami in South-East Asia (2004), Hurricane Katrina in the USA (2005), the eruption of the Chaiten Volcano in Chile (2008), and earthquakes in Haiti (2010) and Turkey (2011). In 2011, after the devastating earthquake in Japan, one of Volga-Dnepr’s An-124-100 aircraft delivered a special medical vehicle for ophthalmic disease diagnostics and treatment to the Japanese city of Sendai. This flight was operated as a charitable action by Volga-Dnepr Group.  



Virgin Atlantic Cargo is giving customers another choice to book shipments online with the airline by launching e-bookings based on Unisys' Cargo Portal Services (CPS) technology.

Customers can now use CPS to make bookings and track shipments on a 24/7 basis regardless of geography or time zone, including for transit legs and trucking services. CPS is delivered via Software-as-as-Service (Saas) hosted by Unisys.

To make bookings, customers simply have to log on to and follow prompts to register with CPS and Virgin.

The launch of e-bookings via CPS followed a successful six month trial of the service by Virgin Atlantic involving customers who had expressed an interest in online booking channels.

John Lloyd, Director of Cargo at Virgin Atlantic, said: "Our customers can already book online with us via the Virgin Atlantic Cargo website but we recognise that many of our clients use multi-carrier services, like CPS, and this will make it even easier and faster for those customers to book their shipments with us. We want to ensure customers have the choice they need when they do business with us. That means combining e-solutions alongside the important personal contacts our customers already enjoy with the staff in our contact centres."

Christopher Shawdon, VP Logistics Solutions at Unisys, said: "As a global carrier, Virgin Atlantic Cargo is an important addition to the CPS family. In turn, they will benefit from reaching a user base of potential customers in 100 countries.”

More than 2,100 freight forwarding companies in 330 cities in more than 100 countries regularly use CPS for cargo bookings. Globally, CPS processes over one million e-bookings per year.


Thursday, 13 November 2014


Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s distinctive marketing has earned the airline the coveted Marketing
Award of the Year in the Payload Asia Awards 2014.

The award winners were announced at a gala dinner in Singapore, attended by some 300
leading executives from the region’s air cargo industry. Virgin Atlantic Cargo was honoured
for the second time in three years for its stand-out marketing campaigns.

Announcing the award, Donald Urquhart, Editor of Payload Asia, said: “This award is aimed
at recognising clever, creative, thought provoking and/or quite simply beautiful advertising.
Although there is increasingly stiff competition in this area Virgin Atlantic Cargo – for the second
time - has clearly demonstrated it fits the bill in all of these points with marketing that makes
you stop, look and most likely smile!”

In addition to its memorable ‘Our world revolves around our customers’ and ‘A splash of
difference’ advertising campaigns, and it’s hard to ignore external communications and
promotions, Virgin Atlantic Cargo is well-known for its creative exhibition stands at leading
industry events such as Air Cargo Europe, and its role as host of the ‘welcome’ party at the
CNS Conference in the United States which has seen the number of annual attendees more
than double to over 550 U.S freight industry executives end since Virgin’s sponsorship began
in 2013. And who else would organise a Christmas party for customers in Johannesburg in July!

Karen Kerslake, Head of Marketing & PR, at Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said: “We believe marketing
is all about being memorable, impactful and informative and we apply this approach across
everything we touch. We also like to have a little fun along the way, taking care to understand
the regional and cultural differences of the audience and country we are speaking to. Our
number one objective is to get noticed by standing out from the crowd and to leave our
audience wondering ‘What’s Virgin going to do next?’ We are therefore extremely proud
to have won this award."



Tuesday, 11 November 2014


AirBridgeCargo Airlines’ (ABC) winter flight schedule for 2014/15 provides even more service choices for its customers with additional Boeing 747 freighter frequencies linking major markets in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, via the airline’s hub in Moscow.

In Europe, Russia's largest scheduled cargo airline, an important part of the Volga-Dnepr Group portfolio, has launched extra weekly frequencies to/from Munich, Milan and Amsterdam. In Asia, AirBridgeCargo has also increased flights to/from Hong Kong and Shanghai with an extra service per week on both routes. ABC has also extended its capacity for customers in North America with two additional flights a week to Chicago and one to Dallas/Fort Worth.

The success of ABC’s business development activities, reflected in its strong operating results, has enabled the airline to further increase its footprint on its existing markets. In the first nine months of 2014, ABC saw an increase in tonnage carried on all of its routes in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, with flown tonnage to/from the USA, Asia and Europe growing by 28%, 14% and 13% respectively over this period. The highest growth rate was seen on North America-Europe routes with a 77% growth in tonnage. Volumes from the U.S. to Amsterdam doubled over this period. The airline has also seen stable growth from the U.S. to Germany, which reflects strong customer support since the launch of direct flights from the U.S. to Frankfurt and new services to Munich launched earlier this year. ABC’s volumes from the U.S. to Frankfurt rose 26% in the nine months to 30 September 2014.  

Denis Ilin, Executive President of AirBridgeCargo, said: “We operate all-cargo services on the world's largest trans-regional cargo markets and these Increased Boeing 747 freighter frequencies will enhance trade flows between each region at a time when we are achieving strong growth in demand, and give our customers better access to point-to-point deliveries within our global route network. Moreover, we are matching capacity with demand on these routes. Our FTK grew by 16.5%, surpassing the capacity growth.”
ABC’s growth in 2014, the introduction of new routes and frequencies, and the growth in its B747 fleet to 13 aircraft with the delivery of its sixth Boeing 747-8 Freighter further secure its strong position in the global air cargo market. The airline is also one of the leading carriers in the Europe-Asia trans-regional market and is the number one foreign airline for tonnage in Amsterdam and Frankfurt. The airline's short-term development plans are to continue its focus on the U.S. market, supported by the increased number of aircraft, and further expansion on other trans-regional markets.

ABC currently operates flights to 25 major trade destinations in 11 countries. With increased frequencies, the airline is continuing to improve its product offering and now offers 63 point-to-point connections for its U.S. customers, 375 point-to-point connections for European customers and 324 point-to-point delivery options for customers in Asia. All operations are performed via ABC’s hub at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.




A Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ An-124-100 freighter has transported a Sukhoi Superjet 100 fuselage as well as the aircraft’s wings and tail section from Komsomolsk-na-Amure in Khabarovsk Krai to Zhukovsky, southeast of Moscow.

The flight carried the detached airframe parts of an extended range and upgraded version of the Sukhoi  Superjet 100 aircraft. The 33-ton cargo was loaded and offloaded using the An-124’s onboard cranes and auxiliary loading equipment.

In Zhukovsky, the Superjet 100 is conducting service life tests, which are required to confirm the design service life of the airframe structure up to 70,000 flight hours and 54,000 cycles.

This is not the first time Volga-Dnepr has been contracted to move a Sukhoi Superjet 100 for service life testing. In November 2008, one of its An-124 freighters delivered SSJ100 airframe t/n 95006 from Komsomolsk-na-Amure to Novosibirsk.


Monday, 10 November 2014


One of Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ An-124-100 freighters has operated to five cities in Congo, Ghana, Mali, Guinea-Bissau and Ivory Coast to deliver urgent equipment being used to help fight the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the region.
The flights to Kinshasa, Accra, Bamako, Bissau and Abidjan carried five 20-ton containers, part of the Chinese government’s programme to help countries in West Africa affected by the virus. The An-124 operated from Tianjin, China.
The cargo included one-use protective suits, respirators, glasses, boot covers and other equipment used as part of the anti-epidemic measures being taken by healthcare workers operating in the worst affected areas.
Volga-Dnepr Airlines is operating in accordance with the recommendations of the UN Security Council that called on airlines and maritime companies to ensure transport connections with African countries suffering from the Ebola virus comply with special medical procedures.
This latest flight follows a delivery of three multi-purpose Mi-8 helicopters by Volga-Dnepr on October 14 for the United Nations (UN) emergency health mission responding to the Ebola virus outbreak. This An-124 flight was operated from Moscow, Russia, to Freetown in Sierra Leone.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014


Volga-Dnepr Airlines has been voted ‘Best Cargo Charter Airline’ in the prestigious annual awards presented by the Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA), the global organisation for leaders in the aircraft charter industry.

It is the fifth time the Association’s members have honoured Volga-Dnepr Airlines with this award, following its successes in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Dmitry Grishin, Sales Director of Volga-Dnepr was presented with the 2014 award by Shahe Ouzounian, Chief Operating Officer of the award sponsors Chapman Freeborn Airchartering.

Senior executives from the international air charter industry from over 150 companies attended the 2014 Awards Lunch hosted by BACA at the Guildhall in London. The annual awards ceremony recognises the leading charter companies in a variety of industry sectors and the winners are selected by some 200 representatives of BACA and air charter customers.

Commenting on the award, Dmitry Grishin said: “This is a highly-coveted award and we are proud to have been honoured once again by the members of BACA. The Baltic Air Charter Association is respected all over the world because it brings together so many of the leading providers of air charter services. With their knowledge and expertise, they are best-placed to identify the companies that truly excel in this specialist sector and that makes winning this award so special to us. As we prepare to commence our 25th year of operations, it will inspire everyone at Volga-Dnepr Airlines to continue to strive to deliver the very highest levels of customer service and operational excellence.” 

Tony Coe, Chairman of BACA, said: “We warmly congratulate Volga-Dnepr Airlines in winning the ‘Best Cargo Charter Airline’ BACA Award for 2014. Volga-Dnepr Airlines have always been a stalwart in supporting the Association and it’s so nice to see a prominent member be rewarded with success. The membership voted on-line and Volga-Dnepr Airlines was a clear winner - well done.”

The Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) is the successor to the Airbrokers’ Association founded by members of the Baltic Mercantile and Shipping Exchange in March 1949. Its purpose was to bring to aircraft chartering the same standards of integrity and professionalism for which the Baltic Exchange and the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers have for so long been known and respected. For today the Association joins 125 charter companies: airlines, airports, handling agents, freight forwarders, and consultants.


Monday, 3 November 2014


The skills of Volga-Dnepr Group’s Engineering and Logistics Centre (ELC) were called into action to develop special loading equipment to transport a 30-ton ‘drum’ for desalination of drinking water from Dusseldorf in Germany to Kuwait City.  

“This 10-metre steam drum for the oil and gas industry was both heavy and outsize and it was not equipped with tie-down points for its flight onboard one of Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ Iluyshin-76TD-90VD aircraft. To distribute the weight, we developed two small, light cradles and installed the cargo onto them. We also fitted the drum with special devices to enable us to meet the mooring safety requirements and fix the drum inside the cargo hold of the aircraft. The loading was completed using two cranes and a trailer. This solution was previously considered by the engineers of the customer. As a result of this preparation work, the steam drum was delivered on-time to the customer in Kuwait city,” said Evgeny Venikov, Load Planning Manager, Engineering and Logistics Centre, Volga-Dnepr Group.

The flight was operated on behalf of the international forwarding and logistics company, Panalpina.
Volga-Dnepr Airlines, part of Volga-Dnepr Group, has comprehensive experience of providing unique logistics services for complex cargo loads, including the development of special loading equipment for heavy and outsize cargo. The Engineering and Logistics Centre supplies customers with complex and cost-effective services and works on a 24/7/365 basis. Projects supported by the ELC team include an 88 flight programme to deliver 6,000 tonnes of equipment to a gas processing plant in Papua New Guinea and the carriage of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner wing section onboard Volga-Dnepr Group’s An-124-100 ‘Ruslan’ freighters. ELC also develops solutions for complex deliveries using the Group’s fleet of IL-76TD-90VD, Boeing 737 and B747 freighter aircraft.  


Monday, 27 October 2014

Volga-Dnepr Technics in Leipzig completes first A-Check on a Boeing 737 CL

Volga-Dnepr Technics GmbH (VDT GmbH), a representative of Volga-Dnepr Technics in Europe, has performed its first A-check on a Boeing 737 CL aircraft owned and operated by Cargo Air, a private Bulgarian charter airline, at its hangar facilities in Leipzig/Halle airport.

All necessary scope of work was accomplished by VDT GmbH in direct coordination with representatives from Cargo Air, who personally witnessed the hangar capabilities and service quality and expressed their satisfaction with a job well done.

At the end of 2013, VDT GmbH extended its EASA Part-145 certificate approval to include A-Check services on Boeing 737-300/400/500 and Boeing 747-8F, B-747-400 (PW-4000) type aircraft. The company’s Rating C14 was also expanded to cover wheel and brake repair shop activities on a variety of Boeing 747 aircraft models.

“We are very glad to start cooperation with Cargo Air. I hope our new partner appreciated our hangar facilities, qualified personnel, teamwork and hearty welcome. I am confident both of us will benefit from this cooperation as we begin an effective and efficient relationship,” said Ildar Ilyasov, Managing Director of VDT GmbH 
 “When we came to Volga-Dnepr Technics GmbH, we were eager to get a reliable MRO partner offering quality services and its own hangar in Europe. This company fully meets our requirements. The cooperative work impressed us and I believe we will return for VDT GmbH’s services again in the future,” said Kaloyan Yordanov, Director for Maintenance and Engineering at Cargo Air.


About VDT

Volga-Dnepr Technics GmbH is a maintenance and repair organisation specialising in Western-built aircraft. The company is based at Leipzig/Halle (LEJ) airport, where it operates an 8,500 sq. m. hangar and supporting facilities. The company has also opened a line maintenance station at Frankfurt (FRA) airport.


AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), part of Volga-Dnepr Group, is on course for another year of record growth, reinforcing its position as one of the world’s fastest-growing all-cargo airlines.
In the first nine months of 2014, ABC carried 290,735 tons, a 14% increase over the same period last year. The airline’s average load factor for the nine months ended 30 September was 71%, far exceeding the industry average of around 45%. 
Denis Ilin, Executive President of AirBridgeCargo Airlines, said: “As a global airline operating in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, we are not immune from the downturn in international economies. However, this has challenged us to focus even more on developing and implementing new business opportunities and solutions that have given us a platform for growth. Our priority remains to deliver the highest levels of customer service, supported by the operating efficiencies of our modern aircraft fleet, because customer satisfaction is the key to us realising our market leadership ambitions.”

ABC’s growth in 2014 has been boosted by the continued expansion of its network, with new destinations and additional frequencies on the airline’s existing routes. In September, Switzerland joined ABC’s network with the launch of scheduled Boeing 747 all-cargo services to/from Basel, further extending its transport options for customers in the healthcare industry. Basel has one of the highest concentrations of life sciences businesses in the world. The airline also added frequencies to Seoul and Tokyo to increase its product range for ABC customers in the region, especially those in the automotive sector.

By adding new destinations and improving connectivity with its Moscow hub, AirBridgeCargo now offers an extensive choice of direct routes for its international customers in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific as well as over 400 connections with a delivery time of below 48 hours on almost all of its origin-destination pairs.

ABC’s commitment to providing its customers with high quality services has been reiterated with its ‘Delivered-As-Promised’ index once again exceeding 80%.

The airline has also announced plans to further increase its presence on existing markets. Starting from the 2014/15 winter schedule, ABC will launch additional frequencies to Munich, Milan and Amsterdam in Europe, Hong Kong and Shanghai in Asia, and Chicago and Dallas in the USA.

About AirBridgeCargo Airlines

AirBridgeCargo Airlines, part of Volga-Dnepr Group, is one of the world’s fastest-growing all-cargo airlines with its yearly tonnage compound growth rate of 39%. It connects the world’s largest cargo flows from Asia to Europe and the United States via Russia using a modern and efficient Boeing 747 all-cargo fleet of 12 aircraft, and maintains a high level of on-time performance averaging 78%. As an all-cargo carrier, ABC has the ability to temperature-control each of the Boeing 747’s four cargo compartments to between 4-29°C, ensuring a flexible, safe and reliable transportation environment for high value pharmaceuticals. ABC is a member of IATA, the Cool Chain Association, TAPA, and Cargo 2000.

Thursday, 16 October 2014


AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) is continuing to build its presence in the Americas with the appointment of Airlink Cargo LLC as its GSA in the Pacific-Northwest region of the United States.

The airline has achieved strong growth in the U.S market since the introduction of its first route in North America in 2011 linking Moscow and Chicago. This year, ABC has doubled its weekly Boeing 747 freighter services to and from Chicago and opened a second route to Dallas/Fort Worth. This winter it will operate seven flights a week from Chicago and three services a week ex Dallas/Fort Worth.

ABC is celebrating 2014, the tenth anniversary of its first flight, with its best-ever performance figures and its success has been significantly boosted by growing U.S cargo volumes. In the first nine months of this year, ABC’s achieved a 55% increase in traffic from North America. This also contributed to ABC’s record start to 2014 with its overall 16% growth in tonnage in the first six months to 188,354 tonnes, and an average load factor across its global network of 72%.

Increasing its sales presence in the Americas comes as growing consumer confidence in the U.S. and steady month-on-month growth in the market indicates a strong end to 2014 and a positive outlook for 2015.
Based in Portland, AirLink will represent AirBridgeCargo in seven northwest states; Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada). Its team will provide dedicated sales and customer service support for ABC’s flights from the U.S. to Europe, Russia and Asia. AirLink will leverage its seven years of sales and trans-oceanic export/import experience to provide personalized and timely services for ABC’s customers in the growing northwest market.

"Airlink Cargo is a dynamic and highly customer-oriented organization, and we are very pleased to have them join the AirBridgeCargo team in the Americas,” said Hendrik Falk, the airline’s Vice President, North and South America. Jim Reeves, President of Airlink Cargo, added: "We are thrilled to represent such a quality-driven and fast-growing all-cargo carrier and look forward to providing customers in the region with the highest possible service levels."

About AirBridgeCargo Airlines
AirBridgeCargo Airlines, part of Volga-Dnepr Group, is one of the world’s fastest-growing all-cargo airlines with its yearly tonnage compound growth rate of 39%. It connects the world’s largest cargo flows from Asia to Europe and the United States via Russia using a modern and efficient Boeing 747 all-cargo fleet of 12 aircraft, and maintains a high level of on-time performance averaging 78%. As an all-cargo carrier, ABC has the ability to temperature-control each of the Boeing 747’s four cargo compartments to between 4-29°C, ensuring a flexible, safe and reliable transportation environment for high value pharmaceuticals. ABC is member of IATA, the Cool Chain Association, TAPA, and Cargo 2000.


On October 14, Volga-Dnepr Airlines transported Mi-8 helicopters for the latest United Nations (UN) emergency health mission in response to the Ebola virus outbreak. The flight was operated using one of Volga-Dnepr’s An-124 ‘Ruslan’ freighters from Moscow, Russia, to Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The three multi-purpose helicopters will be used to support the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) established in late September to fight the outbreak of the virus in western Africa.  

To load the helicopters into the cargo hold of the An-124, Volga-Dnepr applied a loading plan specially developed for the carriage of rotor-wing machines. This involves demounting lifting and tail propellers, vibration absorbers, fuel tanks, and removing fluids from the shock struts and wheels. This reduced the height of the helicopters enabling them to be loaded onboard the An-124 alongside the demounted equipment.

The Ebola virus has so far penetrated Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal and claimed more than 4,500 lives. Many international organisations, including the UN, are providing financial and people resources to help stop the spread of the virus in the countries most affected by the Eboloa outbreak. UNMEER’s priority mission is to stop the epidemic, cure infected people, supply disease areas with all necessary medical services, stabilise the situation and prevent future outbreaks.