AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), Russia’s largest cargo airline, has commenced its 10th anniversary year with the strongest first quarter in its history, with tonnage up nine per cent in Q1 to 86,500 tonnes.


ABC says its growth reflects market improvements in Russia, Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific as well as the success of its own sales activities. Freight ton-kilometres in the first three months of 2014 rose by 13%, far exceeding the industry average of 4% growth in the months of January and February.


Load factor for Q1 was 71%, again considerably higher than the industry average.

Continuing its network growth in the first three months of 2014, ABC added Dallas, Leipzig and Malmo as new on-line destinations and increased its frequencies to and from Chicago. The additional operations strengthen ABC’s position in the European and North American air cargo markets. By adding new destinations and improving connectivity with its Moscow hub, ABC is able to offer an increased choice of routes and connections for its international customers.


The airline’s continued focus on improving its performance levels led to further gains in Q1, increasing its Delivered-As-Promised performance to 78%.


AirBridgeCargo celebrated the 10th anniversary of its first commercial flight on 23rd April 2014. Its maiden flight in 2004 was between Moscow’s Domodedovo airport and Beijing. ABC started as a Volga-Dnepr Group project and over its subsequent 10-year journey has earned its place among the world’s major international cargo airlines.


When Volga-Dnepr Group launched ABC in 2004, it was the first Russian all-cargo scheduled airline. In those early days the airline operated a single B747-200 and served five destinations but now ABC is proud to operate a fleet of 12 Boeing 747 freighters (5 Boeing 747-8 and 7 Boeing 747-400), one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the air cargo industry, and serves 23 on-line destinations all over the world. Its route network connects the largest cargo flows on Asia-Russia-Europe-USA tradelanes. By optimising its route network ABC offers its customers freight deliveries within 48 hours on almost all of its routes, an offer considered highly attractive by clients all over the world.


In 2013, AirBridgeCargo Airlines carried 340,000 tonnes and flew 2,609,000 FTKs, achieving an average load factor achieved of 72%, considerably above the industry average. ABC is recognised as the air cargo leader in the Russian market with a market share of over 30% on major routes into Russia. For several years, ABC has also earned a leadership position on other routes all over the world.


ABC has delivered on its commitment to constantly finding ways to improve the airline’s quality and performance results. On time performance of ABC services has been constantly improving over the decade which led to increase of its Delivered-As-Promised index. ABC is also adopting Cargo 2000’s quality management system and has been accredited for meeting the international compliance standards of the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).


ABC today is an important part of Volga-Dnepr Group’s ‘cargo supermarket’ portfolio and plays a significant role in the global air cargo market. Despite or possibly even due to the harsh economic market conditions, ABC has achieved year-on-year growth and development thanks to the hard work of its highly-skilled international team as well as its flexibility, open minded customer relationships and its continued drive to serve its client.


Denis Ilin, Executive President of AirBridgeCargo Airlines, said: “Today is a proud milestone for our company and a tribute to all of the members of the ABC team around the world and our parent Volga-Dnepr Group for enabling us to achieve our strategic goals over the first 10 years of our development. Most of all we say thank you to our customers for their support and trust in us. We value long-term partnerships and look forward to achieving further growth together.”


ABC is targeted for another prosperous decade of its development with future plans of increasing modern freighter fleet, route network covering more countries in the world committed to provide further quality products to the clients who rely on ABC services and to the new potential customers.  

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