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.