Volga-Dnepr Airlines puts the breaks on broker relationships

Russian carrier Volga-Dnepr Airlines has discontinued doing business with aircraft charter brokers for its fleet of An-124-100 and IL-76TD-90VD freighters.
In a statement the carrier said that the decision comes as it "continues to develop its business and reinforce its direct sales efforts globally".
The statement added: "This decision applies only to the charter operations of Volga-Dnepr Airlines performed onboard An-124-100 and IL-76TD-90VD airplanes, which represent the biggest fleet of these aircraft types, and the Airline is aiming to increase the availability of its fleet for the benefit of its customers.
"Volga-Dnepr Airlines will fulfil and accomplish all unfinished projects and commitments with its broker partners accordingly."
Volga-Dnepr Airlines said that it will continue to work closely with its freight forwarding customers "to support their global air charter requirements".
Dan Morgan-Evans, group cargo director for broker Air Charter Service, said: "Volga-Dnepr Group regularly change their strategy. Some years they are best friends with brokers and forwarders, other years they pay more attention to end users. So we are used to this sort of announcement.
“From ACS’s perspective, we arrange around 15,000 charter contracts a year, of which less than 100 are on Volga-Dnepr Group’s aircraft. Being such a small percentage of our charters means that it will not significantly impact our business especially considering that many of these 100 charters are for our freight forwarder clients.
“Our general approach is that it’s business as usual for us, and we are looking at a number of new opportunities which will be opened up from this strange decision.”
A spokesman for Antonov Airlines, the Ukrainian cargo carrier also operating An-124 freighters, said: “We are aware of the announcement and would like to affirm that it is business as usual for Antonov Airlines.
“We are not considering any similar moves, and our strategy in the way we operate with our customers and business partners remains very much the same.”

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