NATO confirms Volga-Dnepr notice to quit SALIS

NATO has confirmed the withdrawal of a Volga-Dnepr subsidiary from its contract for Strategic Air Lift International Solution (SALIS), which provides An-124 freighter uplift for the western military alliance.
A spokesperson for the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) told Air Cargo News: “Since 2006 the NSPA has contracted for airlift to assist an international consortium of nations in meeting their requirements for outsize cargo airlift.
“These services have been operating for more than a decade and currently two separate contracts are in force to support the Support Partnership nations under what is known as the Strategic Air Lift International Solution or SALIS.
“The SALIS is an international consortium which includes 10 nations: Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.”
The NSPA spokesperson continued: “The current contracts were signed on 1 January 2017 – one with Antonov SALIS GmbH and a second one with Ruslan SALIS GmbH. These contracts are in force until the end of 2018.
“NSPA has been informed by Ruslan SALIS that they will not continue their service beyond the terms of their current contract which will remain in force until the end of 2018.”
“NSPA is currently working with the SALIS nations to explore options to meet their future airlift requirement from January 2019 onward.”
NSPA is unable to provide additional information at this time.
Two An124-100 aircraft, one each from the two freighter airlines, have been stationed permanently at Germany’s Leipzig/Halle airport since March 2006 as part of the SALIS Project. 
More aircraft are also made available at short notice, when required, to provide airlift for EU and NATO countries.
Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Group said in a statement: "In line with our corporate strategy, Volga-Dnepr Group is focused on the growth of its business in the civil commercial sector and continuing to extend the scope of its niche products.
"We have been gradually withdrawing from the military logistics transportation market in due compliance with our previous commitments.
"The Group will not participate in the tender process initiated by NATO in its existing configuration, but we are open to continued cooperation with all organizations engaged in the transportation of humanitarian cargoes, and for future participation in disaster and emergency recovery programs."