Russia’s AirBridgeCargo to launch Boeing 777F operations next year
Russian air cargo giant acquires its first US-built Boeing 777Fs with the help of a funding mechanism from the UAE.
UAE-based Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) Capital and AirBridgeCargo (ABC), the scheduled all-cargo airline owned by Russian air transportation giant Volga-Dnepr Group, have entered into a purchase and leaseback agreement with pre-delivery payment (PDP) financing for three factory-fresh Boeing 777 freighters in 2020. They will be the first of the type to enter ABC’s fleet and will be used to diversify and modernise its current all-B747F aircraft line-up.
Alexey Isaikin, owner and president of Volga-Dnepr Group, comments: “Our agreement with DAE Capital marks an important moment in our history as we welcome the first Boeing 777 freighters into our fleet. These aircraft will support our strategy of broader fleet diversity and modernisation, allowing us to deliver a more cost-efficient product to our customers.”
Volga-Dnepr Group and CargoLogicHolding, another brainchild of Isaikin, signed a sweeping package with US planemaker Boeing at last year’s UK Farnborough Air Show, which included a letter of intent for 29 B777 freighters valued at US$9.8 billion.
Firoz Tarapore, DAE’s chief executive adds: “We are delighted to welcome AirBridgeCargo as our newest customer and to be in a position to facilitate them with their fleet requirements as they expand their fleet diversification with this particular type. DAE Capital is the world’s largest lessor of B777F aircraft, and our long-term experience with this aircraft type helped in swiftly executing this agreement.”
ABC currently operates a fleet consisting of 13 state-of-the-art B747-8Fs as well as four of the earlier version -400ERFs and two -400Fs.
In a separate move, Volga-Dnepr Group and GE Aviation renew their strategic partnership, first announced in 2016, which incorporates a long-term logistic support program in which Volga-Dnepr Group will continue to provide transportation support for GE Aviation and other GE businesses through Antonov An-124 charter operations and Boeing 747-8F scheduled services. It also includes marketing efforts, business growth opportunities, digital collaboration and leadership training between the two companies.
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