Russia-headquartered Volga-Dnepr Group, a major specialist in the transportation of oversized and super-heavy air cargoes, has opened an operations base at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport in the USA and will base one Antonov An-124-100 aircraft there.
Konstantin Vekshin, executive president of charter cargo operations at Volga-Dnepr Group, comments: “With the inauguration of this new operations base, the group will dedicate one of its 12 Antonov An-124-100 freighter aircraft as well as crews, technical support teams and special loading equipment for unique cargoes at the Houston facility.”
The base will be staffed by load planning engineers and loadmasters, operations, navigation and ground handling specialists, and will provide unique and specialised on-site engineering and delivery solutions to enable the smooth transportation of heavy and outsize cargoes, the airline explains.
“Houston Airports remains committed to developing and improving intermodal connectivity, and new service offerings such as Volga-Dnepr’s operations base help us achieve our mission by further connecting the people, business, cultures, and economies of the world to Houston,” adds Houston Aviation director Mario Diaz.
The base is an expansion of the Russian group’s sales office that was established in Houston back in 2001 and the move will allow its customers in the Americas, including those in the oil and gas, heavy machinery, energy and aerospace sectors, to benefit from immediate local expertise and services.
Most recently, Volga-Dnepr Airlines operated a first charter flight for GECAS in mid November when the carrier delivered two GE-90 aero engines and accompanying aerospace equipment for the leasing company. The payload on board Volga-Dnepr’s An-124-100 freighter flight from Dallas, Texas, to London consisted of two GE90 engines as well as two props and fan cases and other equipment – weighing a total of 64 tonnes. The GE-90’s dimensions of 750x380x380 cm and its weight of 12,000 kg in its transportation stand means it can only be transported using an An-124-100.
The An-124-100 is a unique ramp loading cargo plane, which is capable of both rear- and nose-door loading and, because of its on board loading equipment, is self-sufficient at all airports of the world.
In the first nine months of 2018, Volga-Dnepr Airlines organised more than 130 deliveries of aerospace equipment on board its fleet of 12 Antonov An-124-100s and five Ilyushin IL-76TD-90VD freighters.
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