Monday, January 27, 2014

Cargo Ranges from Games Equipment to Space Satellites for Airline Freight and Logistics Departments

Russian Carrier Takes Another New Plane in a Busy Month
Shipping News Feature

RUSSIA – US – JAPAN – KAZAKHSTAN – Besides its recent Winter Games activity there has been a lot happening within the Volga-Dnepr airline group this month. Subsidiary AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), Russia’s biggest freight air carrier, received delivery of the airline’s fifth brand new Boeing 747-8 Freighter at the beginning of January, whilst Volga-Dnepr Technics GmbH (VDT), the Leipzig-based maintenance company responsible for the group’s external maintenance operations in Europe, has expanded its current scope of activities on Western-built aircraft with an extended EASA Part 145 certification meaning A-check services and wheel and brake repair shop activities can now be performed on a wider range of Boeing aircraft.

News of ABC’s latest plane came as the company revealed it had achieved a 5% growth in cargo tonnage in 2013, with its highest ever volume of 340,000 tonnes across its network linking Europe, Russia, Asia and North America. The airline reported volume growth on all of its major routes and this was matched by a 5% improvement in revenue. ABC’s Freight Tonne-Kilometres (FTK) rose 15% in 2013, while its average load factor of 72% shows a marginal 1.7% gain over the previous year. Denis Ilin, Executive President of AirBridgeCargo, said:

“Striving for excellence in the face of a changing and challenging economic environment has made us better at what we do. Our young, modern fleet will allow us to further expand the routes and services we offer to customers and to maintain the quality of our product. Our customers greatly benefit from the additional features of the Boeing 747-8F, such as enhanced payload. Now we have the youngest freighter fleet in the industry and operate to the highest standards of environmental compliance.”

The news for Volga-Dnepr concluded with a report that the Russian outfit has once again played an essential part in the logistics of the global space industry by delivering the Türksat 4A telecommunications satellite from Japan to Kazakhstan. The spacecraft was placed into a special container for its flight on board one of the airline’s An-124-100 ‘Ruslan’ freighters. The Türksat 4A telecommunications satellite was produced by the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation in Japan on behalf of Turkey’s communications satellite operator Türksat AS. It will provide Turkey, Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa with TV broadcasting and broadband communications.

The total weight of the cargo was 60 tonnes. During the flight and technical stops a constant temperature of 10°C was maintained to protect the satellite’s sensitive technology. The high value space equipment also required precise and delicate handling during the loading and unloading and experts from Japan accompanied the precious cargo to Kazakhstan to participate in the launch of the Türksat 4A satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is scheduled to take place in February.

Photo: The An-124-100’s gaping nose door manages to accommodates the space hardware.