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AirBridgeCargo has one of industry's youngest fleets

By Staff Reports on January 21, 2014

AirBridgeCargo Airlines increased its cargo tonnage by 5 percent in 2013, with its highest-ever volume of 340,000 tonnes across its network.

The airline, part of Volga-Dnepr Group, reported volume growth on all of its major routes, and this was matched by a 5-percent improvement in revenue.

AirBridgeCargo’s freight tonne-kilometers rose 15 percent in 2013, while its average load factor of 72 percent show a marginal 1.7 percent gain over 2012.

Despite challenging market conditions in 2013, ABC continued with its long-term fleet modernization strategy and took delivery of two more new-generation Boeing 747-8Fs. With the delivery of its fifth B747-8F in December 2013, ABC completed its fleet renewal plan that began two years ago. This investment has reduced the average age of its aircraft fleet from nine years at the end of 2011 to three years at the end of 2013.

ABC’s fleet is now one of the youngest in the air cargo industry.

“Striving for excellence in the face of a changing and challenging economic environment has made us better at what we do,” Denis Ilin, executive president of AirBridgeCargo, said. “Our young, modern fleet will allow us to further expand the routes and services we offer to customers and to maintain the quality of our product. Our customers greatly benefit from the additional features of the Boeing 747-8F, such as enhanced payload. Now we have the youngest freighter fleet in the industry and operate to the highest standards of environmental compliance.”

AirBridgeCargo took delivery of its first Boeing 747-8F in January 2012, with the second and third aircraft joining its fleet in March and December 2012. The fourth new generation freighter entered service with ABC in September 2013.

As part of the modernization program, ABC removed four older aircraft from its fleet. A further 747-400ERF will leave its fleet in 2014.

In 2013, ABC joined the Olympic movement with the delivery of 126 tonnes of broadcasting equipment as well as 214 tonnes of sports and lighting equipment for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February. The flights were performed using Boeing 747 and Boeing 737 cargo aircraft.

“ABC is offering the customers convenient logistic solutions on cargo delivery to different points of the planet – with the use of its own fleet, as well with aircraft of the partner airlines. This is a good example of potential capabilities of Volga-Dnepr Group’s ‘cargo supermarket,’” Ilin added. 

The commencement of ABC charter flights to Sochi was to primarily cater to the needs of companies engaged in the construction of various Olympic infrastructure projects as well as to ensure the timely delivery of winter sports equipment and materials.

At the end of 2013, ABC successfully passed the International Air Transport Association’s Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) procedures and confirmed its compliance with IOSA.