Russian oversized freight specialist Volga-Dnepr Airlines is to open a new base at Paris Vatry Airport in France to support its business activities in Western Europe. The Ulyanovsk-headquartered carrier, a sister venture to scheduled freight operator AirBridgeCargo Airlines, will base up to three of its expanding fleet of Ilyushin Il-76TD-90VD aircraft at the facility, located to the east of Paris.
Volga-Dnepr has invested over US$100 million in a fleet of five new generation IL-76TD-90VD cargo aircraft. With increased payload and range, greater fuel and operating efficiencies and lower noise and emissions than older versions of the four-engined transport, Volga-Dnepr’s aircraft are comply with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) operating legislation and therefore unlike their predecessors are not banned from many developed markets.
Other operators of the Il-76 have been forced to acquire new equipment or transfer their operations to other parts of the world after new environmental and noise legislation banned the type from many markets, including Europe, North America, Japan and Australia from 2000.
Volga-Dnepr is understood to have s Volga-Dnepr is understood to have selected Paris Vatry ahead of a number of other airports across Europe, believing its central location meant aircraft would be in easy reach of much of Europe. “By committing to a visible presence at Vatry Airport, we can help deliver cost benefits for our customers. The operating efficiency of the IL-76TD-90VD means it can compete strongly with the old IL-76 and, importantly, the aircraft meets all environmental standards,” said Dmitry Grishin, Sales Director, Volga-Dnepr Airlines.
“We know customers recognise the value of moving cargo through Vatry because the airport has proven knowledge and expertise in supporting charter services and outsize and heavyweight air cargo flights and we are confident that basing aircraft at the airport and providing availability to customers will result in even more growth opportunities,” he added.
For Paris Vatry the arrival of an established and respected brand in the cargo business will help it achieve its goal to develop into one of the continent’s leading air cargo charter airports. The facility currently has a limited passenger and cargo schedule. On the passenger side Ryanair offers flights to Marrakesh, Marseille and Porto, and Russian carrier Polet Airlines has a link to Voronezh, while Jetairfly and Luxair provide charter services to markets in France, Greece and Spain. On the cargo side Cargolux, UPS Airlines and Yangtze River Express all serve the airport but it is the charter side of the business that holds the strongest potential for development.
“Together with Volga-Dnepr, we will now be able to provide a solution that will significantly enhance our position in the logistics market. Over 90% of our cargo business is from charter operations because Vatry has a great cargo infrastructure that is available 24 hours a day,” said Youri Busaan, Director General, Aéroport Paris Vatry. “Now we also have a great charter aircraft available at the airport that is unrestricted for global operations. Positioning the new IL-76TD-90VD at Vatry will give us an even more prominent position.”