AirBridgeCargo & Volga-Dnepr Win Again

“Once a winner - always a winner.” This slogan could easily fit to AirBridgeCargo (ABC) and Volga-Dnepr who won the prestigious ‘Best Overall Carrier of the Year 2015’ and ‘Charter Operator of the Year’, awards.

Volga-Dnepr added two units to its fleet of big AN-124, totaling 14 now  -  courtesy: V-D
Volga-Dnepr added two units to its fleet of big AN-124, totaling 14 now - courtesy: V-D

The 2015 Payload Asia Awards were presented to both carriers during a special gala dinner event held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Singapore’s Changi Airport and attended by more than 250 stalwarts from the international air cargo industry.
‘Best Overall Carrier of the Year’ went to AirBridgeCargo where in the Customer choice Awards 18,000 individuals cast their votes.
The ‘Charter Operator of the Year’ trophy which was the result of a ranking of nominees by an industry panel of 17 judges went to Volga-Dnepr.
The Payload Asia Awards have been presented for the past four years and are given to those who have in the judges’ view excelled in the air cargo supply chain and who have made a positive impact in the market.

Volga-Dnepr Group 25 years old
Two further milestones for the airline group which has just celebrated a quarter-of-a century in the business.
Both V-D and ABC have come a long way during the past years.
Volga-Dnepr which was founded in 1990 started regular freight operations when founding ABC in 2004.
In the meantime not only the fleets of both carriers have grown, but also the international cargo networks.

V-D & ABC continue marching ahead
Whereas Volga-Dnepr continues to concentrate on the heavy lift cargo market with its fleet of 14 Antonov AN124s and 5 IL76-90 aircraft, ABC runs the regular ‘line service’ with a mixed fleet of 14 Boeing 747Fs, six of which are the latest B747-8F version.

This has so far been a good year for AirBridgeCargo
The carrier reported a 17 percent increase on tonnage between January and August of this year. This can be expected to rise a bit further by year end.
ABC have also steadily increased their network in Europe, the USA and Far East.
This takes some of the pressure off the hard hit home market in Russia which still suffers under own imposed embargoes as well as those from the EU and the U.S.

ABC’s managers are convinced that the future for them lies with operating the B747 freighter and they took all by surprise at this year’s Paris Air Show by placing an order (or is it still an option?) for a further 20 Boeing 747-8Fs.
If and when these are delivered, some will replace the eight B747-400Fs still in the AirBridge fleet, leaving the carrier with the 747-8F as their sole aircraft type.

Volga-Dnepr recently acquired the remaining two AN-124 freighters which had belonged in the now defunct Polet fleet, as exclusively announced by CargoForwarder Global prior to the deal’s official confirmation.
Fourteen of these giant freighters are now on the Volga-Dnepr books and hopefully the coming years will continue to generate enough ‘heavy-lift’ in order to keep them in the air.

AirBridgeCargo and their parent company have come a long way since the inception of ABC in 2004.
Two different products under one roof.
The results so far show that the system works and that ABC has now become one of the world’s few recognized all cargo carriers.

John Mc Donagh

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