RUSSIA: AirBridge sticks to China-US plans

Stan Wraight, president and CEO of Russian carrier AirBridge Cargo has long been predicting overcapacity out of China. So now that his warnings seem to be coming true, why is AirBridge still going ahead with plans to launch freighter services from Shanghai to North America via Krasnoyarsk in eastern Russia laterthis year? Wraight admits that […]


Stan Wraight, president and CEO of Russian carrier AirBridge Cargo has long been predicting overcapacity out of China. So now that his warnings seem to be coming true, why is AirBridge still going ahead with plans to launch freighter services from Shanghai to North America via Krasnoyarsk in eastern Russia laterthis year?

Wraight admits that the region’s air freight markets have been fl at recently, with forwarders reporting factory orders signifi cantly down, though he points out that only air cargo has been hit by this, with ships still leaving full to the US andEurope.

But he insists that the Krasnoyarsk service will not be reliant on cargo from Shanghai. “From Asia, we already link Krasnoyarsk to Nagoya, Beijing and Hong Kong as well as Pudong with our B747- 200Fs, and by April 2008 we will also connectto Singapore, major points in India and likely Bangkok as well,” he says.

“And this is only the start. So we are not dependent on one market at Krasnoyarsk. This has always been in the business plan since we started operations in 2003, as we saw overcapacity out of China coming even then.” The North America service will start once AirBridge gets its fi rst B747- 400ERF in November. The routing will be outbound from Krasnoyarsk over the North Pole to Toronto, and then backvia Houston and Amsterdam.