Russian airline AirBridgeCargo (ABC), a subsidiary of Volga-Dnepr Group, took delivery this week of its first purpose-built Boeing 777 freighter.
The plane is a small, but welcome, addition of freighter capacity to a transport market characterized by limited supply because of the withdrawal of passenger flights due to the coronavirus.
Volga-Dnepr will operate the aircraft through a sale-leaseback agreement with Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, a large lessor of 777 freighters, Boeing announced. In 2018, Volga-Dnepr signed a letter of intent to purchase 29 Boeing 777s.
Volga-Dnepr is among the world’s largest Boeing freighter operators, flying 17 747 freighters and five 737 freighters, including 13 747-8F, four 747-400ERF, two 737-800BCF and three 737-400SF types.
The 777 freighter has a cargo payload of 112 tons and has surpassed the 747-400 in fuel efficiency and carrying capacity.
Boeing (NYSE: BA) has received 231 orders since it began making the 777 freighter in 2005. Volga-Dnepr is the 19th airline to use the twin-engine freighter.
In related news, Volga-Dnepr this week completed a 30-ton shipment of electric power-generating equipment from India to Vietnam for a 450-megawatt solar power plant.
The cargo was transported on board one of the airline’s heavy-duty Antonov AN-124 freighters, which was chartered by Bee Logistics Corp. on behalf of Advanced Information Technologies Corp.