Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Group has signed a memorandum of understanding to order 20 more Boeing 747-8 Freighters, in a deal that Boeing values at $7.4 billion at list prices.
The agreement also adds the Antonov An-124-100 Ruslan very large freighter on a long-term basis to the logistics support chain for Boeing and its partners.
Volga Dnepr has already supported Boeing in a number of shipments. The unique technical abilities of the Antonov An-124-100, along with Volga-Dnepr’s 25 years of global operations and experience gained in transportation of aviation equipment, will serve Boeing’s logistics needs, according to the manufacturer.
“Together with Boeing, we will keep the unique technology of air logistics offering both the Antonov-124-100 and our expanded Boeing 747 fleet for the benefits of global customers,” says Alexey Isaikin, president of Volga-Dnepr Group.
Adding more 747-8 Freighters will allow development of Volga Dnepr Group’s scheduled-service business, AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), and maintain the airline’s high growth rates, according to Boeing.
Volga-Dnepr Group was the first Russian operator to order the Boeing 747-8 Freighter and took delivery of its first 747-8 Freighter in 2012.
It will acquire its additional 20 Boeing 747-8Fs through a mix of direct purchases and leases over the next seven years, according to the manufacturer.
The 747-8 Freighter offers 16 per cent more cargo volume than the 747-400F, while keeping its unique nose door.
Volga-Dnepr Group has represented the Russian airfreight industry in the international market since 1990.
The group, which includes three Russian all-cargo carriers – Volga-Dnepr Airlines, AirBridgeCargo Airlines and Atran Airlines – has a multinational team of 3,500 employees in 15 countries.
Volga-Dnepr currently operates 10 An-124-100 Ruslans and 5 Ilyushin Il-76TD-90VDfreighters, all modified under the group’s special upgrade program and capable of flying to any point of the world.
The Volga-Dnepr Group fleet also includes 14 Boeing 747 freighters – five Boeing 747-400 Extended Range Freighters, three Boeing 747-400 Freighters and six Boeing 747-8 Freighters – and three Boeing 737-400Fs.