Russia’s largest scheduled international cargo carrier, AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), part of Volga-Dnepr Group, has today taken delivery of its first Boeing 747-400ER Freighter, representing the next stage of its strategic development.

The new aircraft takes to six the total number of Boeing 747 freighters in the AirBridgeCargo fleet, which already includes -200F (4) and -300F (1) versions. ABC’s first commercial flight with the ERF aircraft is scheduled from Hong Kong to Russia for November 19th 2007.


Commenting at the aircraft handover ceremony in Seattle, Denis Ilyin, ABC’s Senior Vice President, Strategy & Commercial, said: “This new aircraft will enter service on our routes from China and enable us to increase service reliability, achieve operating efficiencies and extend our full winter schedule ex Asia to seven flights a week from Shanghai and Hong Kong.

“The Boeing 747 is a great cargo aircraft and the long-range, highly efficient operating capability of the -400ERF will enable us to continue with our strategic development into new markets. Following the delivery of our second aircraft from Boeing in February, AirBridgeCargo will commence services to and from North America and Europe via Russia, further establishing ABC and Volga-Dnepr Group as a worldwide company. Our US and Canadian operations will increase further in April when the third -400ERF will join our fleet.”

Craig Jones, Vice President of Sales for Russia and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: "This is a milestone for Boeing to deliver our first new 747-400 Freighter to Russia. AirBridgeCargo clearly sees the reliability, efficiency and value of the industry standard 747-400 Freighter in today's cargo market."

Volga-Dnepr Group’s commitment to the Boeing 747 family of aircraft extends beyond the three 747-400ERFs. In March 2007, Alexey Isaikin, President of the Group signed a contract with Boeing for five brand new long-range Boeing 747-8 Freighters plus options for five more of this next generation cargo aircraft. These freighters will join the AirBridgeCargo fleet between 2010 and 2013.

The 747-400 Freighter is the largest commercial cargo transport in service, with the lowest ton-mile cost in the industry. The 747-400 Freighter family has no peer among today's cargo airplanes with more than 110 in service worldwide, operated by the world's leading air cargo carriers. The 747-400 Freighter can carry 124 tons of cargo up to 4,450 nautical miles.

In all its versions, the worldwide fleet of 747 Freighters -- nearly 300 in all -- provides more than half the world's dedicated freighter capacity. The 747 Freighter is a key element in the development of air cargo into today's $52 billion industry.

The 747 Freighter cross-section is optimized to carry the maximum amount of cargo while minimizing container weight and using industry-standard 10-foot-high (3.1 m) pallets. The airplane's unique combination of a large side-cargo door and nose-cargo door provides maximum flexibility and efficiency which can mean $1 million or more per year on average in additional revenue and yield for the operator. 


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