Russia’s AirBridgeCargo (ABC) carried 158,000 tonnes in 1Q 2017, up 17% year-over-year, as a result of market growth and special products. Load factor increased to 70% during the first months of the year, the carrier said in a statement June 1.
The largest Russian cargo airline, which is part of Volga-Dnepr Group, continued to develop its network in Asia, launching a new route to Taipei in April. ABC provides Boeing 747F services to and from Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore, Hanoi, Taipei, Phnom Penh, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing and Zhengzhou.
According to ABC, high demand for exports from Europe enabled the airline to grow its tonnage from the region by 22% in Q1 2017 with growth on all of its routes, notably to Asia, which recorded a 24% rise in tonnage over the same three months of 2016.
ABC’s services to and from North America also continued to grow, the airline said, and now operates up to 30 flights a week on its routes serving Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Seattle.
Products requiring special handling procedures were among those with the highest rate of growth in the first three months of this year, according to ABC. In particular, the airline said it saw pharmaceutical shipments increase by 70%, while demand for its off-size cargo service rose by 15%.
“Our growth in the first quarter of 2017 is a combination of several factors. Firstly, we are enjoying general market improvement, but we are also seeing the benefits of our product development strategy, which has been implemented to ensure we comply with our customers’ expectations. In order to be able to deliver it, we are also ensuring that our organizational structure and communications are aligned accordingly. We will continue to stay in close contact with our customers to provide the network services and product solutions they require, and this will be supported by further growth of our fleet and more focus on carrying special cargoes,” ABC general director Sergey Lazarev said.
The arrival of the airline’s 10th new Boeing 747-8 F in March increased its total 747 fleet to 17 aircraft, contributed to a 7% increase in frequencies network-wide.