At the Farnborough Air Show today, Russia-based Volga-Dnepr Group confirmed the acquisition of twenty 747-8 freighters from Boeing.
The deal, which began as a Memorandum of Understanding signed at the Paris Air Show last year, also includes an agreement under which AirBridgeCargo and Volga-Dnepr Airlines (the scheduled service and charter airline subsidiaries of the Volga-Dnepr Group) will “provide long-term logistics support for Boeing Commercial Airplanes and its partners using Boeing 747-8F and Antonov 124-100 freighters.”
The twenty 747-8Fs (of which four have already been delivered) will be acquired in a mix of purchases and leases over the next six years. Most will go into the AirBridgeCargo fleet, but as many as five will likely wind up on the certificate of recently launched sister carrier CargoLogicAir (currently based in the UK, but after Brexit, who knows?).
AirBridgeCargo now operates eight 747-8Fs, nine 747-400Fs (a mix of Fs, ERFs and BCFs) and will use the incoming 747-8 freighters to replace the -400 freighters, as well as add three more. CargoLogicAir, which now has one 747-8F (formally delivered at the Farnborough show) and one 747-400F will gradually grow to a five-unit fleet, all 747-8Fs.