Polet branches out into mainstream cargo

Well established in the specialist and heavy cargo market, Polet Airlines has ambitious plans to move into the mainstream cargo market with up to six additional freighter aircraft joining the fleet between now and 2011.

Aeroflot Cargo business strategy Ilyushin Finance Co Polet Airlines

Heavy and outsized cargo carrier, Polet Airlines has announced it is entering the international regular cargo market by establishing a hub in Munich with fl ights serving key gateways throughout Europe and around the world.

To accomplish this Polet has leased three IL-96-400T aircraft from Ilyushin Finance Co. which will begin commercial operations by third quarter 2009, Polet said. Th e carrier said it will also purchase three additional IL-96-400T aircraft in 2010-2011.

According to Polet the Russian-made, wide body, four engine IL-96-400T has “declared characteristics” including fuel efficiency, payload and cargo volume that make it an “attractive product in most market segments.” The carrier also claims the IL-96 has a fuel consumption some 30 per cent lower than a B747-400F.

Aerofl ot Cargo had similarly planned to centre its cargo fleet around the IL-96- 400T to supplement its fleet of MD11s with an order worth nearly US$450 million for six Il-96-400Ts but subsequently backed out because it said the aircraft did not meet the basic requirements for fuel consumption, payload, etc.

Sales and marketing of the new services will be done in cooperation with partners and GSAs, with direct sales possibly in the long term, Polet said. It added that discussions are currently underway with leasing forwarders, agents and cargo consolidators with respect to all global markets.