Volga-Dnepr and SVO Join Forces in Cargo

The Volga-Dnepr Group and Sheremetyevo International Airport have signed a 15-year agreement to develop SVO into a state-of-the-art international cargo hub. Both partners will invest US$45 million to achieve this goal.

One of AirBridgeCargo's Boeing 747 freighters at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport  -  courtesy V-D
One of AirBridgeCargo's Boeing 747 freighters at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport - courtesy V-D

Volga-Dnepr Group and Sheremetyevo Airport have signed an agreement on long-term cooperation in the field of cargo hub development at SVO airport. The project aims to achieve correspondence with high global industry standards and become a beneficial tool for the entire Russian cargo industry.

Sheremetyevo on way to becoming Russia’s benchmark in cargo
For Michael Vasilenko, Director General of Sheremetyevo International Airport, the agreement paves the way for a systematic approach towards the enhancement of the airport’s cargo infrastructure. A much needed step since some of the cargo facilities are rather antiquated at SVO. Vasilenko pointed out that the contract not only embraces quantitative aspects with Volga-Dnepr committed to turn over an agreed annual volume of transits, transfers and tonnage of exports and imports. Even more importantly, said the SVO Chief, is the qualitative dimension of the deal. It’s centerpiece will be an up-to-date hangar complex for providing maintenance and repair services as well as offering sufficient space for expanding the throughput of air freight, including the handling of special commodities like express products, pharmaceuticals, flowers or valuables.

Ambitious plans
In addition to the structural and technical improvements, the joining forces of SVO and V-D should encourage other international airports to enhance their cargo flows and handling practices as well, states a Volga-Dnepr release. The exchange of best-practice experiences and business related projects with other airports to bring cargo up front and support innovations is integral part of the plan.  
Sergey Lazarev, Director General of AirBridgeCargo Airlines comments: “Both the Volga-Dnepr Group and Sheremetyevo airport are strategically oriented towards development of a modern international level air cargo hub at the premises of Sheremetyevo airport.” He went on to say: “All the agreements and mutual obligations reached in this agreement are particularly intended to guarantee a high quality level of air cargo services for our customers.”
Volga’s line-haul offshoot AirBridgeCargo is Sheremetyevo’s number one cargo carrier, with its parent Volga-Dnepr utilizing the Moscow airport frequently for both international and domestic charter missions.  

Ramenskoye shortly before the opening
According to local sources, commercial traffic at Moscow’s fourth airport Ramenskoye is about to start. The Putin administration recommended in March of 2011 to build a new terminal and bring the 45 kilometers southeast of downtown Moscow located airport into shape. This was driven by the idea to make it the home for low cost carriers and charter airlines, thus relieving Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo. During the Cold War Ramenskoye was a major testing facility for military aircraft with occasional cargo flights following the collapse of the Soviet Union. It offers capacity for an annual throughput of up to 12 million travelers, which are expected by 2021. Its runway, which is 5,400 meters in length (17,700 feet) is the second largest worldwide. Operator is a ‘Ramport Aero’ named joint venture consisting of Lithuania’s Avia Solutions Group (75%) and Rostec (25%), a Russian state enterprise.

Heiner Siegmund

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