Volga-Dnepr marks 6th year on DROMLAN air network
Volga-Dnepr marked its sixth year of supporting logistics for the DROMLAN project with five charter flights using its IL-76TD-90VD.
March 19, 2021
By PLA Editor
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Volga-Dnepr Airlines, known for transporting oversized and super-heavy shipments, has completed its sixth year of supporting logistics for the DROMLAN project with five charter flights using its IL-76TD-90VD to Antarctica.
The Dronning Maud Land Air Network (DROMLAN) is a coordinated project between 11 countries with research bases in Queen Maud Land to create an air logistics network to reduce costs.
Working with Antarctic Logistics Centre International (ALCI), the carrier operated charter flights from Cape Town (CPT) to the Novo runway at Russia’s Novolazarevskaya Station. It covered over 4,200 kilometres on the air bridge that ALCI created and moved over 200 tonnes of general cargo to ensure uninterrupted work at the research stations. The company completed landing and takeoffs on a glacial blue ice runway which the airline says requires great skill and competence from its crew members.
“Despite the challenging times and COVID-19 restriction, we supported a slightly shortened program to Antarctic Research Stations, thus enabling the scientists to continue their research programs, even the time was shortened,” said Ekaterina Andreeva, commercial director for Volga-Dnepr Airlines.
“We would like to thank our partner, ALCI, who creates the intercontinental air bridge between Cape Town (South Africa) and Novolazarevskaya station during the austral summer.
“Each year we increase the number of certified crew members to guarantee smooth operations – by 2020/2021 we have had two trained and qualified crews and we hope that by the next season we will have more,” she added.
The Russian carrier has been part of the programme since 2015 and has operated over 150 charter flights to and from the world’s coldest continent, delivering over 1,700 tonnes of general and special cargo. Volga-Dnepr said that the modernized IL-76TD-90VD’ s flying distance capability, payload weight capacity, hermetical cargo hold, and fuel-efficient engines enables it to complete cargo missions to any remote regions under severe weather conditions.
For years the carrier has been offering delivery solutions with ‘airlift-and-drop’ options for certain cargo types, as well as operating flights to other stations, in Antarctica. Each year the company introduces new routes and delivery options, and in 2020, it operated an IL-76TD-90VD crossing Antarctica on a flight from South Africa to Chile for the first time.