Volga-Dnepr Group has noted a significant increase in airfreight demand, driven by e-commerce growth, across two of its carriers’ networks.
The group said that AirBridgeCargo Airlines and ATRAN Airlines experienced a three-fold increase in e-commerce volumes in the first nine months of this year – amounting to more than 75,000 tonnes.
The carriers transported these volumes on their Boeing 747 and Boeing 737 freighter aircraft.
Looking forward, Volga-Dnepr Group — which also owns Volga-Dnepr Airlines — said it expects upcoming e-commerce-driven shopping events (Singles’ Day, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving and Christmas) to further boost cross-border shipment volumes.
To meet this anticipated increased demand, AirBridgeCargo Airlines and ATRAN Airlines are adding cargo capacity this month by operating 10 Boeing 747 charter flights between China and Russia. In addition, the carriers are increasing their number of Boeing 737 flights operating between China and Russia.
Volga-Dnepr Group attributed the “skyrocketing” of cross-border e-commerce shipments to the effects of the pandemic, as more people sought equipment to work from home and many people preferenced online shopping over visiting physical shops.
Vitaliy Andreev, general director of ATRAN Airlines, commented: “We have been experiencing the emerging demand as of September.
“That said, following the market sentiments and our customers’ needs we have increased the number of Hangzhou-Riga-Moscow frequencies from five till seven in September, as well as introduced additional Hangzhou-Vladivostok-Novosibirsk flights from October.
“The right capacity and the right connectivity will allow us to further support our customers from the e-commerce sector which, thankfully, shows no signs of relenting.”
Nikolay Glushnev, general director at AirBridgeCargo Airlines, added: “The pandemic served as a trigger for the e-commerce sector and all the stakeholders needed to adjust quickly to the rapid changes and disruptions.
“Within AirBridgeCargo Airlines and Volga-Dnepr Group, we introduced dedicated long-term charter programs, which guaranteed capacity availability for our customers during these turbulent times and high-quality services.
He added: “Understanding that e-commerce goes in-line with the digital customer journey, we have enhanced the customer journey experience to guarantee flawless, timely and user-friendly communication. This covered development of IT Hub, online booking tool to facilitate smooth work-from-home processes for customers with constant booking confirmations, website e-services with regards to scheduled and track-and-trace, and schedule updates via e-mail.”