AirBridgeCargo re-launch plans in doubt

Reports from Russia suggest that AirBridgeCargo’s plans to re-launch operations are in doubt.

The carrier had hoped to re-launch operations in June using two Russian-made Il-96-400T freighters.

However, flight tracking websites suggest the aircraft (RA-96103 and RA-96101) are not in use, with only the former listed under AirBridgeCargo.

News service RBC reports that the airline confirmed it had yet to receive the aircraft, while lessor Ilyushin Finance Co – part of the United Aircraft Corporation – told the publication that negotiations had not been finalised and discussions had started with other potential airlines.

Meanwhile, general director of Russian carrier Red Wings Evgeny Solodilin told Rossiya 24 that the company was planning to operate the Il-96s on the certificate of a cargo airline.

He added that the carrier was already planning to operate Tu-204/214s in a cargo version.

Before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, AirBridgeCargo operated a fleet of 17 B747 freighters and a single B777F.

However, western sanctions mean the carrier has been unable to operate the aircraft for more than a year.

The carrier had been hoping to use the IL-96 aircraft to launch flights to China.

AirBridgeCargo set to return later this year

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]