Thursday, January 5, 2012

Russian Cargo Group Continue to Increase Air Freight Capacity

Another New Ilyushin for Volga-Dnepr
Shipping News Feature

RUSSIA - Volga-Dnepr Airlines has added a fourth modernized IL-76TD-90VD cargo aircraft to its fleet with the new plane completing its inaugural commercial cargo flight on New Years Eve from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport to Bahrain before returning to Moscow. The purchase follows contract agreement at the MAKS 2007 International Aerospace Show and the aircraft was delivered from Tashkent to Ulyanovsk, Russia, in November to be painted in Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ livery.

Volga-Dnepr Group initiated its Ilyushin IL-76 modernisation programme in 2002. The first IL-76TD-90VD entered commercial service with Volga-Dnepr Airlines in the summer of 2006. The new version of the popular freighter meets all the current requirements of foreign aviation authorities and is approved to fly all over the world without restriction. It is equipped with PS-90A-76 engines and modern avionics, using the Kupol-III-76M-VD flight navigation system. The crew size of the IL-76TD-90VD aircraft compared to old versions of the IL-76 is reduced to four people.

General Director of Volga-Dnepr-Leasing, Andrey Pakhomov said the company intended to implement their programme to grow the new IL-76 fleet and expected to take delivery of the fifth IL-76TD-90VD, currently being built at the Tashkent Chkalov Aviation Factory, in May 2012. Dennis Gliznoutsa, Vice President for Sales, Volga-Dnepr Airlines, said the increase in the IL-76TD-90VD fleet will allow Volga-Dnepr to respond to market demand more flexibly commenting:

“The aircraft performs to an extremely high standard for airfreight transportation and is in high demand by our customers. The entry of the fourth IL-76TD-90VD into service facilitates our plans to gain a larger share of the cargo market for shipments in the up to 50 tons category of the international market. The demand for modernised IL-76TD-90VD services is due to the aircrafts ability to operate globally without restrictions and because older versions of the aircraft are gradually being taken off the market.”

Photo: Copyright and courtesy of the Alex Beltyukov collection