Volga-Dnepr Airlines and Antonov Airlines announce that their An-124-100 freighter joint venture, Ruslan International, is to end on 31 December 2016.
The two companies created the joint venture in 2006 to jointly market their combined An-124-100 fleets, with the aim of improving availability of the unique ramp loading cargo aircraft for customers all over the world. The partnership has provided welcome benefits for both airlines over the past 10 years and, most importantly, ensured the level of An-124 services for customers in industry sectors across the globe.
Volga-Dnepr Group’s business collaboration with Antonov will continue for the technical aspects of airworthiness and flight safety support of its An-124-100 fleet.
Commenting on the decision, Tatyana Arslanova, Vice President Strategic Management and Charter Cargo Operations of Volga-Dnepr Group, said: “Our joint venture with Antonov Airlines has enjoyed 10 fruitful years and during this time we have been able to ensure our global customers have benefited from the unique operating capabilities of the An-124 whenever and wherever they have needed them. With the world’s largest fleet of An-124 freighters, Volga-Dnepr is committed to maintaining this capability for our customers with our own services, supported by our worldwide offices.”
Dennis Gliznoutsa, Vice President, Development & Special Projects at Volga-Dnepr, added: “Volga-Dnepr is a private Group of companies and a commercial enterprise that is proud to support major customers in industries across the globe. We are free to take commercial decisions that are in the best interests of our Group and our customers and this represents a new and exciting chapter for Volga-Dnepr Group as we continue to build upon the reputation we have earned for service quality and reliability over more than 26 years.
“We have the advantage of the experience we gained from the end of our An-124 joint venture with HeavyLift Cargo Airlines in 2001, and the subsequent growth of our outsize and heavyweight cargo business in the international market. We emerged from that JV stronger and now, 15 years later, we will do so again. We now have an even more diverse and capable product offering for our customers under our ‘Cargo Supermarket’ concept, which combines our growing An-124, IL-76TD-90VD, Boeing 747 and 737 freighter fleet and logistics services. We know our customers highly value the capability of our fleet and the outstanding expertise of our people and they have confidence in our Group of companies as a unique provider of transportation and logistics solutions that are pivotal to the success of projects, supply chains and customers all over the world.
“We wish to publicly thank Antonov Airlines for their partnership over the past decade and we will continue to collaborate in regards to the technical aspects of our An-124 fleet.”