Monday, March 11, 2013

Russian Air Freight Links as Project Cargo Contract and New Services Announced

Air Travels by Air As Helicopter Carried Whilst Italian Route Expanded
Shipping News Feature

RUSSIA – UKRAINE - US – NORWAY – Two separate air freight news items this week, both with Russian connections as Ruslan International, the specialist heavy lift air freight marketing group formed by two Eastern Bloc airlines, Antonov (Ukrainian) and Volga-Dnepr (Russian), release details of their latest project forwarding venture, a record helicopter order, whilst AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) introduce a new scheduled service.

Ruslan International, the company which manages and markets the combined Antonov An-124 fleets, has arranged the transport of a brand new Sikorsky S-92 helicopter from Stewart International Airport in New York State to Stavanger in Norway, where it will be used for flying to and from offshore oil rigs in the North Sea.

The aircraft is the first of a record order of sixteen S-92s, all of which feature special equipment and systems necessary for operations in the North Sea region including flotation devices, auto-deployable life rafts, satellite flight following communications and main rotor blade ice protection systems.

Ruslan International operated the flight on behalf of Norwegian charter broker AirContact, who in turn arranged the charter for its customer Norsk Helikopterservice (NHS) which specialises in oil rig crew transfer services. The first machine and its spares were carried on board an An-124 belonging to Ruslan International partner Antonov Airlines and the flight was accompanied by NHS Managing Director Bjorn Seljevold.

The Sikorsky S-92 is a four-blade, twin-engine, medium-lift helicopter with around 200 examples now in service for military and civilian operators around the world. The aircraft has a 17 metre long by 5.26 metre wide fuselage, 17.17 metre diameter 4-blade main rotor, a two-man crew and can carry up to 19 passengers or a 5000 kilo payload.

Meanwhile AirBridge Cargo, Russia’s largest international cargo airline and also a part of the Volga-Dnepr Group, has increased its flights from Moscow to Milan to three times a week. The new Boeing 747 all-cargo service will operate every Tuesday and is in addition to ABC’s existing flights on Thursdays and Sundays, the company having served the Italian city with its freight offerings since 2009. The airline’s hub model for cargo transportation via Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport means it is able to connect Milan with the largest markets in Asia including Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Zhengzhou, Chengdu, Seoul and Tokyo. Tatyana Arslanova, Executive President of AirBridgeCargo, said:

“Milan is a very important and successful route for us and through close communication with our customers and constant monitoring of demand levels and trends in the market, we have introduced a third weekly frequency as a strategic step to increase our footprint in the European market and to meet the level of capacity our customers need from us. We expect cargo flows from Asia to Milan through our Sheremetyevo hub to increase, and we are equally confident in the market from Milan, which is being stimulated by the emerging positive trends in the Chinese and European economies.”

Photo: The helicopter shipment in transit