AirBridgeCargo set to return later this year

Reports from Russia suggest that freighter operator AirBridgeCargo could re-launch services after a year of inactivity.

Russian publication RBC reports that the Volga-Dnepr group carrier is aiming to restart operations after acquiring two Russian-made Il-96-400T freighters.

Photos of one of the aircraft with an AirBridgeCargo livery has been posted on the Telegram social media channel, although it does not appear to have engines or vertical stabiliser.

The two aircraft (RA-96103 and RA-96101) were previously operated by now-defunct Polet Airlines.

The long-range four-engined aircraft can carry around 90 tonnes of cargo. They will be the first Russian aircraft flown by AirBridgeCargo, which previously operated with a fleet of Boeing B747s and B777s.

Before the outbreak of the war, the airline’s fleet consisted of 17 B747 freighters and a singe B777F

AirBridgeCargo’s aircraft have been on the ground since the first quarter of the year due to airspace bans and restrictions on leasing aircraft to Russia-based airlines due to the war in Ukraine.

Volga-Dnepr Group founder Alexey Isaykin last year transferred ownership of the company to management after he was placed on a UK sanctions list.

Volga-Dnepr Group ownership transferred to management

AirBridgeCargo applies to return freighters to lessors

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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]