Volga-Dnepr Group has secured a $14 million loan to finance the expansion of the first Russian scheduled cargo airline, Airbridge Cargo. The loan, from the HSBC bank, is to be repaid over five and a half years.

Airbridge Cargo will operate both Russian and Western-manufactured freighters. The first Airbridge Cargo Boeing 747-200 aircraft has already entered service and the second aircraft is scheduled to arrive by the end of this month. Volga-Dnepr is also negotiating to lease an Ilyushin Il-76 and a Tupolev Tu-204.

As well as the loan for the new aircraft purchase, HSBC has also provided a short-term credit line of up to $15 million to increase the Volga-Dnepr Group's working capital.

Alexey Isaikin, president of Volga-Dnepr Group, says: "Airbridge Cargo, created within Volga-Dnepr Group, has become the first and sole carrier in the world that provides its customers with a unique combination of An-124s and B747s - the two best freighters of the present - which soon will be supplemented with smaller aircraft, such as Il-76s, Il-96s and Tu-204s. We hope that our fruitful cooperation with HSBC in realising our concept of 'airlift supermarket' will continue."



Source: Flight Daily News