Ruslan International joint venture to dissolve end-December

The Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer also announced that an Antonov Airlines team will be established in the UK which will take the lead in the global sales and operations of this unique cargo aircraft.

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The Antonov Company and Volga-Dnepr Airlines have announced that their Antonov An-124-100 joint venture company, Ruslan International, formed in 2006, will cease operations on 31 December, 2016.

The two companies created the joint venture to jointly market their combined An-124-100 fleets, with the aim of improving availability of the unique ramp loading cargo aircraft for customers all over the world. The partnership has provided welcome benefits for both airlines over the past 10 years and, most importantly, ensured the level of An-124 services for customers in industry sectors across the globe.

As the major shareholder in Ruslan International and as the operator of the world’s largest An-124 fleet, Volga-Dnepr said it has the full capability to continue to support all existing customer contractual obligations. Volga-Dnepr Group’s business collaboration with Antonov will continue for the technical aspects of airworthiness and flight safety support of its An-124-100 fleet.

The Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer also announced that an Antonov Airlines team will be established in the UK which will take the lead in the global sales and operations of this unique cargo aircraft.

Dreamlifts Ltd (trading as Antonov Airlines) is managed by an international group of well-known experts from the outsize and heavyweight cargo industry, the company said. With decades of experience between them, Antonov Company expects a seamless transition for its customers in the global supply chain and a continuation of its flexible and highly personal service.

In 2016 Antonov Company celebrates the 110th anniversary of the birth of Oleg Antonov, its founding father and leader in the design the An-124 Ruslan – the world’s largest production aircraft. The company, which proudly bears Antonov’s name, introduced the world to the commercial advantages of the An-124 Ruslan27 years ago. Antonov currently operates a fleet of seven An-124s including the AN-124-100M-150 with a payload of up to 150 tonnes. It also operates the unique capability An-225 Mriya with a 250 tonne payload and the world’s largest turboprop, the An-22 Antei.

Oleksandr Kotsiuba, president of Antonov Company said: “Antonov Airlines’ activities are supported by Antonov Company’s in-house design and development capabilities providing unrivalled expertise for the most challenging logistic projects. As the maintenance authority and life extension authority, we will continue to offer these proven and reliable airframes to the market for many years to come. We look forward to working with the experienced and exciting team in the UK, and can see a bright future going forward with our customers”.

Commenting on the decision to dissolve the joint venture, Tatyana Arslanova, vice president strategic management and charter cargo operations of Volga-Dnepr Group, said: “Our joint venture with Antonov Airlines has enjoyed 10 fruitful years and during this time we have been able to ensure our global customers have benefited from the unique operating capabilities of the An-124 whenever and wherever they have needed them.

“With the world’s largest fleet of An-124 freighters, Volga-Dnepr is committed to maintaining this capability for our customers with our own services, supported by our worldwide offices.”

Dennis Gliznoutsa, vice president, development & special projects at Volga-Dnepr, added: “Volga-Dnepr is a private Group of companies and a commercial enterprise that is proud to support major customers in industries across the globe. We are free to take commercial decisions that are in the best interests of our Group and our customers and this represents a new and exciting chapter for Volga-Dnepr Group as we continue to build upon the reputation we have earned for service quality and reliability over more than 26 years.”

We have the advantage of the experience we gained from the end of our An-124 joint venture with HeavyLift Cargo Airlines in 2001, and the subsequent growth of our outsize and heavyweight cargo business in the international market. We emerged from that JV stronger and now, 15 years later, we will do so again. We now have an even more diverse and capable product offering for our customers under our ‘Cargo Supermarket’ concept, which combines our growing An-124, IL-76TD-90VD, Boeing 747 and 737 freighter fleet and logistics services.

“We know our customers highly value the capability of our fleet and the outstanding expertise of our people and they have confidence in our Group of companies as a unique provider of transportation and logistics solutions that are pivotal to the success of projects, supply chains and customers all over the world.”We wish to publicly thank Antonov Airlines for their partnership over the past decade and we will continue to collaborate in regards to the technical aspects of our An-124 fleet.”

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