Are AirBridgeCargo Airlines going to get some undesired competition in the Russian air cargo market during the coming twelve months?
It may look that way when one reads the news coming out of Russia these past days.
If all were to be true, then two new freight carriers may be coming on the scene, one of them almost exclusively for the Russian Post.
Sky Gates Airlines and Aviastar TU
Both of the above named carriers are said to want to start operations this year already out of Moscow Ramenskoye Airport.
Sky Gates Airlines which is 80 percent owned by Alexander Khmelevskikh and 20 percent by Globus Distribution Management, has applied to the Russian aviation authorities for an Air Operators Certificate (AOC).
A firm called Sky Gates Rus. Company has been separately set up to run the airline.
Operations from Moscow’s Ramenskoye Airport serving the Russian domestic market and international markets, said to be mainly in the South East Asia region are initially planned with a single leased-in B747-400F aircraft.
The company states that once the new cargo terminal at Ramenskoye is completed, that the carrier may increase their fleet up to six aircraft.
This, all depends however on whether they’ll be successful in getting their AOC.
Aviastar TU already operates three Tupolev TU-204 freighters, one of which is an exclusive operation for DHL Express.
Sources say that they also want to start operations out of Ramenskoye.
It will it seems, take some time before the airport is suitable for all freighter operations as the new cargo terminal is not yet completed.
The airport has also so far not been able to attract very many passenger operators with only a few of them so far saying they wish to operate from there.
Russian Post signs up for two TU-204 freighters
On the 15th of June at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, the Russian Post officially stated that they had purchased two TU204-100C freighters in what they see as a first step to set-up their own medium and long-haul freighter fleet.
Both aircraft belonged to the defunct Transaero Airlines which went bankrupt in 2015.
Sources inform CargoForwarder Global that these aircraft each have only 2,000 hours on the clock and that before being delivered to the Russian Post, will be thoroughly checked by Tupolev.
Operations are planned to start as of autumn this year for domestic postal delivery between Moscow and the Russian Far East as well as for the carriage of e-commerce goods between China and Moscow.
Sources state that there are plans to expand services of the Russian Post into Germany, Finland and Hong Kong once more aircraft are acquired.
John Mc Donagh