Volga-Dnepr Group has signed a firm order with MAK Ilyushin (Ilyushin Interstate Aircraft-building Company (OAK) - a business unit of the United Aircraft Corporation ’ for the production and delivery of three more IL-76TD-90VD freighter aircraft. The contract was formally signed during MAKS 2007, the 8th International Aerospace Show in Moscow.
This follows the signing of a general letter of intent for the new 50 ton capacity aircraft on June 19, 2007 during the 47th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget.
This is the first firm contract for freighters received by OAK since its establishment.
The aircraft, scheduled for delivery in 2009, will be built at the Tashkent Aircraft Factory, where three airframes have been already reserved for Volga-Dnepr. Volga-Dnepr Airlines currently operates one IL-76TD-90VD freighter and has a second aircraft currently in testing phase ready to join its fleet this autumn.
The new order for IL-76TD-90VD aircraft by Volga-Dnepr will be financed by a program similar to the one used to build the second aircraft, i.e. a combination of Volga-Dnepr’s own assets and loan facilities provided by Sberbank of Russia at the beginning of 2007. A number of Russian banks have already shown interest in financing the project.
The first year of commercial operation of the ‘quiet’ IL-76TD-90VD, which features new engines and avionics and meets all current ICAO requirements, allowed Volga-Dnepr to substantially increase the volume of cargo carried on IL-76 ramp freighters and renew worldwide operations. The new IL-76TD-90VD is certified by ICAO for worldwide flights, including major markets in Western Europe, North America, Australia and Japan that are restricted to older versions of the IL-76.
At the beginning of 2007, the IL-76TD-90VD operated its first commercial flight to the US. This was the first time since 2000 that an IL-76 has operated a commercial service to the US market. In 2006, IL-76 services represented 29% of all Volga-Dnepr charter flights and contributed 16% of the Group’s total sales.
Volga-Dnepr forecasts the general commercial market demand for new IL-76s until 2015 to be around 15 to 20 freighters.