Strategic fleet and network growth, coupled with solid global demand for premium exports such as pharmaceuticals, has resulted in Russian freight operator AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), a subsidiary of Volga-Dnepr Group, transporting 17% more cargo year-on-year in Q1 2017, to 158,000 tons.
The carrier’s load factor rose to 70% year-on-year in the period. Its pharmaceuticals shipments grew by 70%; demand for outsize cargo services rose by 15%.
ABC’s stratagem of developing its network in Asia over the last 24 months appears to have borne fruit. Coupled with market growth, the carrier’s intra-Asian tonnage rose by 19% in Q1.
In Asia, AirBridgeCargo operates B747 freighter services to and from Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore, Hanoi, Taipei, Phnom Penh, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Zhengzhou, and most recently Taipei.
High demand for exports from Europe saw the carrier’s European tonnage rise by 22%. Gowth was reported on all routes, notably to Asia at 24% year-on-year.
ABC is also continuing to expand its North America business, operating up to 30 flights per week on routes serving Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Seattle.
General Director Sergey Lazarev says a number of factors, including higher customer satisfaction, have contributed to the operator’s exceptional first-quarter performance: “Not only are we benefiting from the general market revival, we are also seeing the benefits of our product development strategy, which has been implemented to ensure compliance with our customers’ expectations.”
Another key factor is better alignment of the company’s structure with its customer communications strategy. “We will continue to stay in close contact with our customers to provide the network of services and product solutions they require, and this will be supported by further growth of our fleet and a closer focus on the transportation of special cargoes,” Lazarev notes.
The airline operates 17 Boeing 747 freighters, having taken delivery of its 10th 747-8F in March this year. The development has contributed to a 7% increase in frequencies across the ABC route network.
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