Reports: AirBridgeCargo in negotiations on freighter lease deals

By Damian Brett

Source: Volga-Dnepr Group

Russian press reports suggest that AirBridgeCargo (ABC) is in negotiations with lessors over five of its B747 freighters.

A Kommersant report quotes Tatyana Arslanova, executive president of AirBridgeCargo, as saying that the airline has entered negotiations with lessors over a break in the lease deals or reduced rates.

She said that negotiations with GE Capital Aviation Services and Sberbank Leasing have been ongoing since the end of last year.

In other reports, Arslanova is quoted as saying that the Volga-Dnepr Group expects to post a loss of $110m for 2019.

Air Cargo News has contacted the airline for a response.

In the report, Arslanova said that the need to re-negotiate deals has been heightened by the outbreak of the coronavirus, but it was initially down to the general downturn in air cargo.

She also pointed out that the value of aircraft has depreciated as a result of the downturn.

Both Atlas Air and Nippon Cargo Airlines have written down the value of their B747 freighters this year.

Atlas Air also parked four of its converted B747-400Fs.

Last year, ABC was forced to cut services and re-organise as it came under financial pressure due to weakness in air cargo, so it is no surprise that the airline may be seeking to re-negotiate deals with suppliers.

However, the coronavirus has caused a spike in demand for freighter aircraft as passenger services – and therefore bellyhold capacity – has been cut. Freight rates out of China and on intra-Asia routes have spiked accordingly.

In total, the airline operates a fleet of 21 B747Fs: six B747-400Fs and 18 B747-8Fs.

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