ABC expects "stable" 2015 peak season

17 / 07 / 2015

Expansion-minded AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) expects a “stable rather than fantastic peak cargo season” for the second half of 2015 after reporting a 17% tonnage surge across its global network in the first six months.

The Russian airline - whose Volga-Dnepr parent has lined up an order for 20 Boeing 747-8 freighters worth $7.8bn - transported over 218,000 tonnes between January and June this year and saw a 22% rise in freight ton-km.

ABC achieved a load factor of 67% during the half-year, maintaining a higher level than the industry average.

The airline's tonnage in June was up 16% year-on-year and surpassed the growth rate of 11% reported in May.

During the first six months of the year, ABC “intensified its efforts” to grow business in key markets with the addition of extra frequencies and transportation options for customers via the airline’s hub at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

On its core trade lanes between Europe and China, ABC recorded a 26% growth in tonnage eastbound and a six percent improvement in westbound traffic in the reporting period to maintain its strong position in both markets, despite weakening European imports.

ABC also expanded its presence on Europe-US routes with additional Boeing 747 freighter services from Frankfurt to Chicago. During the first six months of 2015, the airline carried over 6,200 tonnes of cargo westbound between its European and North American gateways.

Further expansion in the North American region saw the launch of Los Angeles services and additional flights from its online stations of Chicago and Dallas, enabling ABC to reach double-digit growth figures in the US market as well.

The airline transported over 20,280 tonnes of freight from North America in the first six months of the year.

Denis Ilin, ABC’s executive president, said: “AirBridgeCargo is progressively developing as a global air cargo carrier and continues to invest heavily in its fleet, human resources and route network development to support its clients' global supply chains.

“With the positive response from customers to our existing and new services, stable growth rates, healthy load factors and our client-oriented international team, ABC is very well placed to bring in additional capacity later this year in front of the high season.

“We expect a stable rather than fantastic peak cargo season and we look forward to our volumes continuing to gain momentum towards the end of the year.”