Boeing and Volga-Dnepr Group have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for 20 Boeing 747-8 Freighters, valued at $7.4 billion at the US aircraft maker’s list prices.
Volga-Dnepr Group was the first to order the 747-8F in Russia and took delivery of its first in 2012. These additional 20 aircraft will be acquired, according to Boeing, “through a mix of direct purchases and leasing over the next seven years.”
No Volga-Dnepr statement about the MoU was available, but in the Boeing announcement, the group’s president, Alexey Isaikin, says: “Together with Boeing, we will keep the unique technology of air logistics offering both the Antonov 124-100 and our expanded Boeing 747 fleet for the benefits of global customers.”
According to Boeing, Volga-Dnepr will use the 747-8F for the development of its AirBridgeCargo Airlines business. The aviation parts of the Volga-Dnepr Group consist of Volga-Dnepr Technics, a maintenance and repair company, ABC and Volga-Dnepr Airlines, which is a specialist for oversize and heavy cargo transportation. Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ fleet consists of Ilyushin and Antonov aircraft.
The group also has an insurance company and a trucking firm. AirBridgeCargo is a Moscow-based international scheduled cargo market carrier. It operates Boeing 747 Freighters. According to its website, its fleet consists of fourteen Boeing 747 Freighters including, five Boeing 747-400 extended range Freighters, three Boeing 747-400 Freighters and six 747-8F.
In its May results, ABC’s tonnage was up 16 per cent for the first five months of 2015, compared to the same period last year. The result continues the growth seen from 2014, when, for the year as a whole, cargo volumes increased by 17.6 per cent to 401,000 tonnes. Between 1 January and 31 March this year, ABC saw cargo volumes increase by 20 per cent to 103,816 tonnes. In 2015 so far, ABC has added Helsinki, Hanoi (Vietnam) and Los Angeles (US) to its network.