Aeroflot fighting over MD-11 freighters

AEROFLOT Cargo has hit a major stumbling block in its bid to replace its ageing DC-10Fs with MD-11 freighters, according to an Air Cargo News source. The Russian government is preventing the airline from operating the MD-11s, as they break the 15-year age limit for western aircraft.

At least one ex-Varig MD-11 has been painted in the Aeroflot Cargo livery, but is sat on the tarmac unable to operate.

Extraordinarily, the cargo airline is reported to have commenced legal action against the ministry of transport over the issue.

Meanwhile, the cost of operating the DC-10 freighters has had a major impact on its finances. Aeroflot Cargo is believed to have lost between US$30-40 million last year and is reducing the use of the DC-10 to help prevent further losses.

In October this year, Aeroflot Cargo is due to receive the first of six IL-96-400 freighters agreed with the sole investor in the carrier, Aeroflot Russian Airlines, in early March.

Aeroflot Cargo declined to comment on the problems with the MD-11F, the current financial situation or the prospect of IL-96-400 deliveries.

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