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Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Volga-Dnepr Group, a world leader in transportation of unique, oversize and heavy cargo, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further the Group’s fleet expansion with 20 additional 747-8 Freighters, valued at $7.4 billion at list prices.
The agreement also adds the Antonov-124-100 aircraft to the long-term logistics support for Boeing and its partners.
Boeing and Volga Dnepr have a long history of successful partnership. The Group has already supported Boeing in a number of shipments. The unique technical abilities of the Antonov 124-100, along with Volga-Dnepr’s 25 years of global operations and experience gained in transportation of aviation equipment, will further serve Boeing’s logistics needs.
For Volga Dnepr Group, adding more 747-8 Freighters will allow development of the Group’s scheduled business, AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), and keep the airline’s high growth rates. Volga-Dnepr Group was the first to order the Boeing 747-8 Freighter in Russia and took delivery of its first 747-8 Freighter in 2012. These additional 20 airplanes will be acquired through a mix of direct purchases and leasing over the next seven years.
The new 747-8 Freighter gives cargo operators the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large freighter airplane while providing enhanced environmental performance. It is optimized to provide greater revenue cargo-carrying capability than the 747-400, offering 16 percent more cargo volume while keeping its unique nose door.
Volga-Dnepr Group has represented the Russian airfreight industry in the international market since 1990. The Group, which includes three leading Russian all-cargo carriers – Volga-Dnepr Airlines, AirBridgeCargo Airlines and Atran Airlines – has a multinational team of 3,500 employees in fifteen countries.
Volga Dnepr currently operates 10 An-124-100 and 5 IL-76TD-90VD, all modified under the Group special upgrade program and capable of flying to any point of the world. The fleet also includes 14 747s – comprised of five Boeing 747-400ERFs (Extended Range Freighters), three Boeing 747-400 Freighters, six Boeing 747-8 Freighters – and three Boeing 737-400Fs.