EASTERN EUROPE AIR CARGO SUPPLEMENT~ EasternAir Cargo on the fast track

Leipzig/Halle-based general sales agent EasternAir Cargo (EAC) expects to almost double its turnover in fiscal 2008 thanks largely to Moscow-based Atlant-Soyuz Airline and a capacity purchase deal with DHL.

The Russian carrier will deploy a brand new Ilyushin freighter IL-96-400T (transport) beginning at the end of April linking the German city with Guangzhou, Nanjing and Tianjin in China.

The aircraft is capable of lifting up to 83.5 tonnes, but has a limited range of 5,200 km when fully loaded which makes intermediate stops necessary. In this case it will be the Russian capital’s Vnukovo airport, Atlant-Soyuz’s home base, where the plane will land for refueling purposes en route from Germany to China and on the way back.

The growing Leipzig/Halle hub
EAC will market the entire capacity of the plane that will land twice or three times per week at Leipzig/Halle. There, DHL is presently building their intercontinental hub that includes the shifting of most of their Brussels activities to the East German airport in April.

For securing fast and reliable traffic flows to Russia and China, DHL has signed a capacity purchase agreement with eastern Air Cargo for as much as 27 tonnes on the flights of the IL-96-400T from Leipzig/Halle to Moscow and further to China.

“This pact secures us and our partner Atlant-Soyuz a basic tonnage on all eastbound flights,” states EAC’s general manager Stephan Blank. He also confirmed the delivery of the first out of a total order of five newly constructed Ilyushins to Atlant-Soyuz. The airline will now commence their test programme and apply for the needed traffic rights to link Europe with China.