Atran continues fleet expansion as it embraces “e-commerce bonanza”
09 / 10 / 2019
By Damian Brett
Delivery of Atran's 2nd B737-800BCF
Russian express airline Atran has added another freighter to its fleet as it continues to add capacity to cater for an “e-commerce bonanza”.
The addition of a second Boeing 737-800BCF brings the Volga-Dnepr-owned airline’s fleet to a total of six aircraft.
In total, Atran has now taken delivery of three extra freighters this year. Its fleet also includes four B737-400Fs and another 23 tonne capacity B737-800F.
The company said that the additional freighter would help it meet growing demand for e-commerce shipments, including mail, between China, Russia and CIS states.
Atran Airlines general director Dmitry Obsharov said in a statement: “With the new aircraft in our fleet not only will we be able to expand our current Hangzhou and Xi’an routes and meet the demand of our customers, but also utilise our fleet more efficiently as Boeing737-400SF is not the best freighter to operate these middle-haul flights.
“The growing fleet with better capabilities is one of the growth drivers of our volumes, which demonstrated more than 40% uptick for the first eight months of 2019.
“As [the] e-commerce bonanza will only deepen, we feel that our services will be of high demand among our customers.”
The B737-800F aircraft is 6 m longer than the B737-400F and also has a wider cargo door.
The company said that its “step-by-step” fleet expansion and addition of new destinations has allowed it to achieve a “more than 15-fold volume upsurge from China to Russia, 8-fold increase of domestic traffic, and more than 6-fold uptick from Europe to Russia”.
As part of its e-commerce push, Volga-Dnepr formed a partnership with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Cainiao logistics arm last year.
The partnership saw Atran launch a weekly service from the technology hub, Hangzhou, which is also an important e-commerce gateway, to Riga.
The collaboration has the aim of “strengthening the Group’s position in the area of cross-border shipments and jointly building a global smart logistics network to meet upgrading demands”.
In April, Atran also launched a freighter route linking Xi’an and Moscow.