Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Heavy Lift and Project Cargo Airline Orders More Freight Aircraft

Rain, not Brexit, Slows Things at Farnborough Air Show
Shipping News Feature
UK – US – RUSSIA – WORLDWIDE – Despite preliminary gloom after the Brexit referendum the naysayers appear to have been proved wrong regarding the effect on at least one event as the aircraft manufacturers from around the world gathered to sign, or release details of, their latest deals. Despite closing early on Monday due to torrential rain the sun was shining for Boeing which, amongst numerous passenger plane orders, announced a commitment from heavy lift air freight and project cargo group Volga-Dnepr for twenty 747-8 Freighter aircraft, four of which have already been delivered.

The two companies have an increasing cooperation and also signed an agreement with the Group's subsidiaries, AirBridgeCargo Airlines and Volga-Dnepr Airlines, for Boeing to provide long-term logistics support for their Boeing 747-8 and Antonov 124-100 freighters. The pair will also look to cooperate further in the future as service opportunities arise. Alexey Isaykin, President of Volga-Dnepr Group commented:

"Volga-Dnepr intends to provide strong evidence to the market that the unique An-124 and Boeing 747-8 four-engine freighters are still essential to serve the fast-changing requirements of our customers worldwide. The most obvious proof of this is the high demand for Boeing 747-8 and Аn-124 freighters from customers in the aerospace industry, which today represents 30% of our overall operations. This is the reason we continue to be so committed to the future of these glorious aircraft and why we are signing long-term agreements with Boeing and General Electric in the Cargo Village at Farnborough."

The Volga-Dnepr Group was the first to order the Boeing 747-8 Freighter in Russia and took delivery of its first 747-8 Freighter in 2012. The newly-ordered aircraft will support Volga-Dnepr's long-term strategy to grow AirBridgeCargo's fleet and replace current 747-400s. They will be acquired through a mix of direct purchases and leasing over the next six years. Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner was delighted by the further cooperation and said:

"Volga-Dnepr Group is a world-class cargo carrier and an outstanding service provider. Boeing and the Volga-Dnepr Group have a long history of successful partnership and I am very proud we can continue this journey together."

The newly-delivered 747-8 Freighter on display in the Cargo Village at Farnborough will be operated by CargoLogicAir, the new British cargo airline and partner of Volga-Dnepr Group. Boeing claims the new 747-8 Freighter gives cargo operators the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large freighter airplane while providing enhanced environmental performance. It is optimised to provide greater revenue cargo-carrying capability than the 747-400, offering 16% more cargo volume while keeping its unique nose door.

British government officials were in evidence at Farnborough and confirmed another order for Boeing, the nine patrol aircraft being part of a £3 billion, decade long contract, planned to ensure 2,000 extra jobs for the UK.

Photo: Boys Toys – The commercial deals were important but at some point most eyes strayed to the F-35 Strike Fighter, a joint project between the US and UK.