Russian cargo carrier Volga-Dnepr saw sales climb 18% to a new high of $135 million last year - $125 million from its 10-strong Antonov An-124 fleet, giving it 60% of a world outsize cargo market it says totalled $208m. Ambitious general director, Alexei Isaikin, says a "focus of this year's activity is to prepare for a public flotation".

Isaikin says the market will drop off this year - due to reduced demand from the UN - before growing again. Volga-Dnepr and UK partner HeavyLift compete with fellow An-124 operators Antonov Airlines of Ukraine (allied to Air Foyle) which has seven of the type, and Poliot of Russia, which operates two (and is taking five from the Russian air force for space sector air launches). Libyan Arab Airlines will pitch in this year with the last -124 from the Aviant factory in Kiev, Ukraine.

Source: Flight International