AirBridgeCargo Airlines, the scheduled cargo subsidiary of Volga-Dnepr Group and Russia’s largest international cargo carrier, has taken delivery of its second B747-400ER Freighter from The Boeing Company ’ the 1,400th 747 aircraft ever delivered.
‘We are honored to receive the 1,400th Boeing 747,’ said Gennady Pivovarov, senior vice president of production, AirBridgeCargo Airlines. ‘The 747 is a high quality, reliable airplane that has already proved its critical role in success of a cargo airline. The new airplane will replace an earlier generation 747-200 aircraft which is leaving our fleet this month and will prove our ongoing commitment to the strategic fleet renovation program and improving quality and efficiency for our customers around the world.’
The 1,400th 747 is the seventh 747 freighter in the AirBridgeCargo fleet, joining five 747-200/-300 Freighters and one 747-400 ERF. ABC took delivery of its first 747-400ERF in November 2007 and will take delivery of its third extended range freighter from Boeing in April 2008. Volga-Dnepr Group has also ordered five of Boeing’s new 747-8 Freighters, the highly efficient and more capable next model in the 747 freighter family. Deliveries will commence in 2010. Volga-Dnepr also has options for five more 747-8s.
AirBridgeCargo will use the new aircraft, under lease from GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS), on its existing routes. The airline currently operates some 20 weekly flights between Asia, Europe, and Russia. From Asia, the airline operates services from Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Nagoya and Tokyo and also enjoys a successful partnership with Nippon Cargo Airlines. It serves the major European hubs of Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Luxembourg.
In 2007, AirBridgeCargo launched domestic services in Russia and future route expansion in 2008 will include 747F operations to Montreal, Chicago and Houston.
‘This milestone speaks to the strong foundation laid at very beginning of the 747 program,’ said Boeing’s Ross R. Bogue, vice president and general manager, 747 program and Everett site. ‘The 747 has eclipsed the initial market estimate of 200 units that was projected when the airplane entered service. This is a tribute to the hard work and dedication that our Boeing employees, suppliers and the community have put into this program.’
In Russia, ABC is actively involved in developing a modern airfreight infrastructure, building hubs in Moscow and Krasnoyarsk (KJA). Russia’s strategically advantageous geographical position, combined with its fast-growing business and consumer markets, provides ABC with the fastest, and most direct access to any key global market - North America, Asia, Europe, India, and the Middle East.