Russian freight carrier AirBridgeCargo Airlines inaugurated flights to Changi International Airport on September 3, 2015 and is understood to be also adding Manchester, UK to its scheduled network in the coming months as it continues to boost its global offering. The airline, the scheduled business of the Volga-Dnepr Group, has now been in operation for eleven years and now serves a network of almost 30 destinations across 15 countries.
AirBridgeCargo’s new link to Singapore establishes the first dedicated freight link between Changi International Airport and the Russian capital and will further strengthen the Asian gateway’s connectivity to Russia and beyond. The airline is offering a twice weekly service on the Moscow – Singapore – Hong Kong – Moscow routing using a Boeing 747-8F.
The new dedicated cargo service will facilitate the movement of cross-border shipments and enhance product offerings for its customers in Asia. With the addition of Singapore, which is AirBridgeCargo’s ninth online station in Asia, the airline will now provide over 500 weekly delivery solutions from the region, all with a delivery time of below 48 hours including handling procedures. The airline already has a diverse business portfolio in the region, connecting clients in China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam with its cargo gateways in Europe, the USA and Russia.
“With the addition of this route, AirBridgeCargo is continuing its strategy to provide customers with better access to point-to-point deliveries within its global route network, while providing them with on-time, reliable and high quality service levels,” said Robert van de Weg, senior vice president, sales and marketing, AirBridgeCargo Airlines.
“Singapore, via ABC’s Moscow hub, will be directly connected to gateways like Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Milan without trucking. Asia is a vitally important market for AirBridgeCargo and we look forward to further growth in this dynamic region,” he added.
Changi Airport is one of the world’s busiest cargo hubs and during the first half of 2015, cargo throughput at Changi Airport reached 912,300 tonnes. During this period, 1,034 tonnes of cargo was handled between Singapore and Russia. Between 2010 and 2014, air cargo volumes between Singapore and Russia grew by an average growth rate of 16 per cent annually.
“This new service by AirBridgeCargo marks a significant milestone for Changi Airport as it opens up new cargo opportunities between Singapore and Russia. Logistics players, who were previously limited by capacity constraints between Singapore and Russia, now have a direct option to transport large freight shipments as well as general cargoes between the two countries,” said James Fong, assistant vice president for cargo & logistics development, James Fong, Changi Airport Group.
AirBridgeCargo has had a strong first six months of 2015 with freight tonnage up 17 per cent versus the same perod last year. Its latest performance data shows it transported over 218,000 tonnes across its network in the January-June period, boosting freight tonne-kilometres by 22 per cent while maintaining a load factor of 67 per cent, much higher the industry average.
During the year to date AirBridgeCargo has intensified its efforts to grow its activities in key markets by adding more frequencies and transportation options for the customers via the airline’s hub at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. On its core routes between Europe and China it has achieved 26 per cent growth in tonnage eastbound, and six per cent growth in the westbound traffic keeping its strong position in both markets, despite weakening European imports.
The carrier has also expanded its presence on Europe-USA routes adding more frequencies from Frankfurt to Chicago. During the first 6 months of 2015 the airline carried over 6,200 tonnes of cargo westbound between its European and North American gateways and further expansion has occurred through the introduction of services to Los Angeles and adding more flights from its already established online stations in Chicago and Dallas.
“With the positive response from customers to our existing and new services, stable growth rates, healthy load factors and client-oriented international team, ABC is very well placed to bring in additional capacity later this year in front of the high season. We expect not fantastic but stable cargo season and we look forward for our volume growth gaining momentum towards the end of the year,” said Denis Ilin, executive president, AirBridgeCargo Airlines.
As part of its planned growth for the final quarter of this year and the first half of 2016, AirBridgeCargo is understood to be looking to add up to four additional points to its network. One of these is believed to be Manchester in the UK, where the carrier is seeking to introduce flights from both Moscow and points across the United States using its growing 747-8F fleet.
It emerged recently that Volga-Dnepr Group has this summer established a new UK company at London’s Stansted Airport to support the growth of its activities in the UK market and fill the void from the closure of Global Supply Systems’ UK activities after it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlas Air World Wide.
The new business, Cargo Logic Management, is solely owned by Amsterdam-based Volga-Dnepr Logistics BV, according to official licencing documentation and is understood to be linked to start-up Cargologicair, which has applied to the UK Civil Aviation Authority for an operating licence.