Volga sales hit a billion dollars

VOLGA-Dnepr Group has reported total sales of US$1,045 million for 2007, 51 per cent higher than its result in 2006. The company achieved substantial growth in the specialist air charter market for the carriage of outsize and heavy cargoes – up 62 per cent – and further established its presence in the highly-competitive scheduled cargo services sector.

In 2007, Volga-Dnepr Airlines grew its sales from air cargo charter operations by 62 per cent to $767 million. During the 12 months, Volga-Dnepr’s An-124-100 freighter fleet carried 59,700 tons of cargo, exceeding its performance in 2006 by 43 per cent. A further 51,300 tons of cargo was carried using the airline’s Il-76 all-cargo fleet. In the outsize and heavy cargo segment, the company still accounts for more than half of this market globally and its share continues to increase.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines is in the process of implementing a program to grow and upgrade its aircraft fleet. In 2007, the first stage of the An-124-100 upgrade was completed with a new version – the An-124-100M-150 – successfully gaining certification. In September 2007, Volga-Dnepr Airlines took delivery of its second upgraded Il-76TD-90VD aircraft constructed by the Tashkent Aircraft Production Plant (Tashkent, Uzbekistan). In the previous month, Volga-Dnepr Group and MAK Ilyushin entered into an agreement for the construction of three more Il-76TD-90VD aircraft at the Tashkent plant. These aircraft are due to join the Volga-Dnepr fleet in 2009-2010.

AirBridge Cargo showed growth in the scheduled air cargo market in 2007. Traffic carried on board its B747 fleet grew by 20 per cent, reaching 101,900 tons. The company also continued to develop its route network and expand its fleet of aircraft. In September, ABC launched scheduled B747 services on the Moscow-Tokyo-Krasnoyarsk route. In 2007, the Aviation Authorities of Russia and Japan signed an agreement that included the granting of traffic rights to AirBridge Cargo for additional flight frequencies to the Japanese airport of Narita within 2008-2010.

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