The Volga-Dnepr Group has entered into an agreement with Boeing to order twenty 747-8 freighters through a combination of direct purchases and leases over the next seven years. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding – valued at US$7.4 billion, at list prices – during the Paris Air Show.
Volga-Dnepr will reap additional benefits from the blockbuster agreement, because the deal stipulates that its Antonov An-124-100 aircraft will be used for long-term logistical support for the production of the new Boeing freighters. This is nothing new, as Volga-Dnepr has supported Boeing logistically before, but it is a formal acknowledgement of the agreement.
Adding more 747-8Fs will bolster development of the Volga-Dnepr Group’s scheduled business with its AirBridge Cargo Airlines. The group also includes Volga-Dnepr Airlines and Altran Airlines. All three airlines are all-cargo carriers. The new 747-8F is designed to provide 16 percent more cargo capacity than the 747-400 variant while also keeping its nose door.
Volga-Dnepr was the first airline to order the 747-8F in Russia, taking its initial delivery in 2012. The group currently operates ten An-124-100s and five Ilyushin IL-76TD-90VDs, which are all capable of flying anywhere in the world. The fleet also includes fourteen 747s, which are comprised of five 747-400ERFs, three 747-400Fs, six 747-8Fs and three 737-400Fs.
Source: Air Cargo World