Russia lost contracts: Russia losing money-making air cargo deals with NATO to Ukraine

16:14 Nov. 21, 2016

Russia losing money-making air cargo deals with NATO to Ukraine

Ukrainian An-124 'Ruslan' (by Antonov)

Pentagon refuses cooperation with Russian air cargo company establishing new contracts with 'Antonov'

One of the leading Russian air cargo company 'Volga-Dnepr' losing one of its most promising and cost-effective directions – Afghanistan and Iraq. The company admitted that direction is (was?) a very financially beneficial, and until 2014, the business has grown 'by leaps and bounds'.

"Breach of this contract will lead to the fact that the workload of the airlines, which amounted up to 45% in the period from January to September 2016, can be reduced to a catastrophic 20%-30%," company officials told local media 73online.

The American side is planning to transfer all the orders to the Ukrainian side – the 'Antonov' corporation, which owns seven An-124-100 'Ruslan' planes (only these aircraft are suitable for transportation in these areas).

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Earlier this information was shared by Intelligence Online in an article called "Antonov embroiled in new Cold War." Experts explained it in a way that growing tension between the US and Russia has started to affect highly strategic areas that have not been involved until now, like partnerships in military logistics.

"We must not only renew the contract with the 'Antonov', it is necessary to extend it to withdraw beyond provided six super-heavy aircraft. Kyiv needs money, and trade in most cases beats assistance. In the spirit of the West's attitude, to punish Russia in trade, it is necessary to take the 'Volga-Dnepr' company out of these relationships. It is necessary to make it entirely Ukrainian-NATO now. This step is much less provocative, then security guarantees, but this step is more than just a signal," Atlantic Council analyst James Hasik is quoted.

Technically the transition of contracts will be achieved by disbandment joint Russian-Ukrainian company operating 'Ruslan' planes. Official info on this topic already published on 'Antonov' official website.

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"Antonov Company announces that its Antonov An−124−100 joint venture company, Ruslan International, formed in 2006 together with Volga−Dnepr Airlines, will cease operations on 31 December, 2016… Antonov Company would like to thank Volga−Dnepr Airlines for contributing to this partnership, which has served the global ‘Ruslan' customer base so efficiently for the past ten years. At the same time, it is pleased to introduce its Antonov Airlines team 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. 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," statement reads.

In turn, 'Volga−Dnepr Airlines' also confirmed this information, and even tried to present it as some kind of victory. Its press release, titled "Volga-Dnepr Group looks forward to a ‘new chapter' of global An-124 operations," says it is a "unique provider of transportation and logistics solutions that are pivotal to the success of projects, supply chains and customers all over the world," with "advantage of the experience", "world's largest fleet of An-124 freighters," and "the full capability to continue to support all existing customer contractual obligations" – if any remain. 

Read also Ukraine's king of the skies up close – UT exclusive

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