AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) has won the top 'Cargo Carrier of the Year on International and Domestic Routes' award for the second consecutive year at the annual Wings of Russia National Award Ceremony held in Moscow.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines also received a distinction in the 'Cargo Carrier of the Year' nomination category.

Such prestigious recognition by the Russian aviation industry reflects the performance levels of the two airlines, which form the cornerstone businesses of Volga-Dnepr Group, and their consistent implementation of the Group’s growth strategy for scheduled and charter cargo services.

"AirBridgeCargo's strong performance in terms of its growth in capacity and revenue is particularly significant because it has been achieved in market downturn conditions, supported by new business opportunities developed as a result of our 'Cargo Supermarket' strategy," noted Alexey Isaikin, President of Volga-Dnepr Group.

In 2009, ABC expanded its route network, added a seventh B747 freighter to its fleet and proceeded with hub development at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport. These steps, along with other measures, enabled the company to increase its cargo traffic by over 20% and post a positive year-end financial result.

The award was accepted by ABC's Executive President, Tatyana Arslanova. She thanked aviation authorities and business partners for their continued assistance and productive co-operation throughout the year, expressed appreciation to the Public Aviation Industry Council and organizers of the ceremony for their recognition of the carrier's performance, and extended her gratitude to colleagues within Volga-Dnepr Group.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines, another winner of the Wings of Russia award, also reported a successful year in the outsize and heavy cargo charter market. In 2009, the demand for AN-124 services remained steady at the pre-crisis level, while operations using the airline’s new IL-76TD-90VD aircraft grew by 12%. The Group's Commercial Director, Dennis Gliznoutsa, noted during the award ceremony that Volga-Dnepr's success in the outsize and heavy cargo segment promotes Russia's leading position in the global market for specialist airfreight and logistics services.

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