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History

August

The constituent conference of the Volga-Dnepr Company takes place. Alexey Isaikin has been elected Chairman of the Board of the newly created airline. The main shareholders of the company are:

– JSC Aviastar, a major aircraft-maker in Russia, manufacturer of the aircraft that are the mainstay of the Volga-Dnepr fleet – An-124-100 Ruslan freighter and passenger Tu-204 airliner;

– ZMKB Progress Design Bureau, Zaporozhye, Ukraine, aircraft engine manufacturer;

– Antonov Aeronautical Scientific Technical Complex, Kiev, Ukraine, designer of various aircraft types;

– JSC Aviant, Kiev, Ukraine – Aircraft Manufacturing Plant.

August

First Antonov-124 is set in operation

September
  • The airline earns its first dollar. The first An-124 flight with the tail number 82042 delivers 120 tons of cargo from Ulyanovsk – Moscow – Amsterdam – Almaty.
  • Together with the British Heavy-Lift Cargo Airlines, Volga-Dnepr Airlines incorporates the Joint Venture HeavyLift-VolgaDnepr, established to promote unique An-124-100 Ruslan capabilities on the international market. The joint venture is headquartered at the London-based Stansted airport.
December

Volga-Dnepr is registered in ICAO under VDA code

March

Volga-Dnepr starts flying under its own flag. The first international flight is made from Ulyanovsk to Sofia (Bulgaria).

April

Volga-Dnepr becomes associated member of IATA

November
  • Volga-Dnepr becomes the first Russian cargo airline to join TIACA.
  • Volga-Dnepr gets more than 70 licenses to make charter flights to different countries.
  • According to the Decree of the Russian government, Volga-Dnepr becomes the dedicated carrier between USA and Russia, China and Russia.
  • Volga-Dnepr gets permission from U.S. authorities to transport unique and super heavy cargoes. First operations in USA start.
April
  • Cooperation agreement was signed with the leading Japanese trade company Mitsuy&Co which is authorized to represent Volga-Dnepr in Japan.
  • Truck transportation service is created to ensure ‘door-to-door’ delivery of cargoes.
July
  • Volga-Dnepr becomes official United Nations (UN) carrier
October
  • Volga-Dnepr receives Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) permission to make regular flights between USA and Russia.
  • Volga-Dnepr receives and prolongs licenses to make flights to more than 110 countries under its own flag. The company opens flights to Italy, Israel, Hong Kong and other countries under its flag.
  • President of Volga-Dnepr Alexey Isaikin is nominated Person of the Year in Entrepreneurs and Financiers category according to the expert committee of the Russian Biography Institute and Who Is Who newspaper.
March

Volga-Dnepr’s aircraft and technical base is certified by the Russian Ministry of Transport to carry out all MRO services for Antonov-124-100, Ilyushin-76, Antonov-12 and Antonov-32 aircraft. It is the second Russian MRO center having such competences after Sheremetyevo MRO center.

April

Volga-Dnepr arranges the first flight and technical conference in Ulyanovsk devoted to Antonov-124-100 aircraft. Volga-Dnepr invites the aircraft operators and developers to join efforts to modernize the aircraft.

June

The Russian Transportation Ministry Air Transport Department acting in accordance with the Russian-Chinese intergovernmental agreement issues certificates to Volga-Dnepr Airlines for scheduled flights en-route Ulyanovsk-Tientsin, Ulyanovsk-Shenzhen on An-124-100 and IL-76 aircraft, and Ulyanovsk-Dalian, Ulyanovsk-Shenzhen on IL-76. Volga-Dnepr receives the customs carrier certificate within the Russian territory becoming the first Russian airline enjoying such a status.

Volga-Dnepr gets Customs Carrier License in Russia.

May

The first foreign line maintenance station set up in Sharjah Airport, UAE. Volga-Dnepr is certified to perform maintenance services for An-12 and Il-76.

November

Maintenance station set up in Shennon, Ireland. Volga-Dnepr is certified to perform maintenance services for Antonov-124-100 aircraft.

August
  • Volga-Dnepr initiates creation of Cargo Airlines Association in Russia.
  • For the more than 5 years successful, emergency-free work Volga-Dnepr is awarded Diploma of the International Aviation Safety Fund.
March

Volga-Dnepr Airlines wins the national prize Wings of Russia 1997 in the category Domestic and International Cargo Carrier.

September

Volga-Dnepr initiates the establishment of a TIACA subdivision for Russia and the CIS countries. Alexey Isaikin, General Director of Volga-Dnepr Airlines is elected TIACA Chairman for Russia and the CIS countries.

March

Volga-Dnepr Airlines wins the national prize Wings of Russia for the second time in the category Domestic and International Cargo Carrier for the second time.

March

For the third time Volga-Dnepr Airlines wins the national prize Wings of Russia 1999 in the category Domestic and International Cargo Carrier.

December
  • To establish the own global sales network Volga-Dnepr Airlines opens subsidiaries on either hand of the Atlantic ocean: Volga-Dnepr Unique Air Cargo, Inc. in Houston (USA) and Volga- Dnepr UK Ltd. in Stansted (United Kingdom).
  • As at the end of 2000, Volga-Dnepr aircraft have made over 70 flights to deliver equipment and gear for the UN peacekeepers across the globe, thus becoming the largest Russian supplier of transportation services for this organization.
February
  • The joint Russian-British venture HeavyLift-VolgaDnepr LTD established on September 17, 1991 to represent the outstanding An-124-100 freighter on the international market, terminates its operations. The main reason behind the decision by Volga-Dnepr to terminate the joint venture was the inability of this type of organization to attract sizable investment to further expand the An-124-100 fleet and increase the legal and financial liability regarding its customers.
  • Volga-Dnepr is awarded a prize by the American Air Transport World magazine in the category Air Cargo Service Development. This award was granted to the Russian airline for the first time ever.
October

The airline is inspected by the ICAO expert commission as part of the complex inspection of the Russian civil aviation to check its compliance with the requirements by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Chicago Convention. Volga-Dnepr got all positive feedback, and a number of the own solutions have been recommended for use as basic standards for other Russian airlines.

June

Volga-Dnepr becomes a member of the Russian Union of Industrials and Entrepreneurs and the Russian-U.S. Business Council.

February

Volga-Dnepr Airlines received the Aerospace Laurels-2002 prize awarded by the prestigious American Aviation Week & Space Technology weekly in the category Commercial Air Transport.

June

At the Paris Air Show Volga-Dnepr presents its program implemented together with Ilyushin Aviation Complex to upgrade the IL-76 aircraft performing 90% of all emergency cargo services in the world. The engines and avionics replacement result in a significant improvement of the aircraft performance to meet the ICAO requirements. This modification has been called IL-76TD-90VD (VD at the end means Volga-Dnepr).

February
  • To implement the IL-76 upgrade program successfully which gained the national status by the Rosaviacosmos decision, Volga-Dnepr established an affiliate Volga-Dnepr-Leasing. The manufacture of the first two modified IL-76TD-90VD aircraft ordered by the airline at the Tashkent aircraft manufacturing plant got its first tranche.
  • The Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar-SP aircraft manufacturing plant completes construction of a new super-heavy An-124-100 Ruslan aircraft for the Volga-Dnepr Group of Companies. The new Ruslan is an anniversary one for Volga-Dnepr, being the 10th in the airline’s fleet. The construction of a new An-124 version was financed by the Volga-Dnepr Group of Companies through the International Finance Corporation (IFC) loan and the own company funds.
July

Volga-Dnepr airlines receives an official certificate of membership in the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which finalized the Volga-Dnepr accession to this organization.

March
  • For the fourth time Volga-Dnepr receives Wings of Russia Award becoming the Airline of the Year in Cargo Airline on Domestic and International Routes.
  • Volga-Dnepr signs long-term partnership agreements with Ulyanovsk State University and Ulyanovsk State Technical University.
  • The joint Russian-Ukrainian meeting approves the business plan to restore serial production and phased-in upgrading of An-124-100 aircraft at the enterprises in Russia and Ukraine.
May

The ISO 9000:2001 compliance certificate was received from IQNet August

August
  • An-124-150M and Il-76TD-90VD are revealed to the public for the first time ever during MAKS-2005 air show.
  • Volga-Dnepr opens elementary author school named Istochnik.
January

The IL-76TD-90VD aircraft receives a local noise certificate saying that the standard aircraft design complies with requirements of ICAO Chapter 4, Appendix 16 February.

February

Volga-Dnepr Gulf employees in the United Arab Emirates raised some charity to set up the orthodox Saint Nicholas chapel in Sharjah.

June

The upgraded IL-76TD-90VD performs its first commercial flight en-route Kuwait – Bombay (India) – Utapao (India) – Taipei (Taiwan) – Sendai (Japan). Introduction into commercial operation of IL-76TD-90VD accomplished a three-year work of the aircraft modernization and manufacture.

February

Volga-Dnepr’s Ilyushin-76 aircraft makes first charter flights from USA since 2000.

MARCH

For the fifth time Volga-Dnepr receives Wings of Russia Award becoming the Airline of the Year in Cargo Airline on Domestic and International Routes.

JUNE
  • During Paris Air Show Volga-Dnepr and Ilyushin Company sign a contract for three Ilyushin-76 aircraft with an option for 10 more aircraft.
  • During MAKS Air Show Volga-Dnepr signs a firm contract with Ilyushin Interstate aircraft manufacturing company for the production and delivery of three IL-76TD-90VDs. This order was the first firm contract for freighters executed by the United Aircraft Corporation. September. A ceremonial transfer of the second upgraded IL-76TD-90VD to Volga-Dnepr Airlines took place.
  • The second modified Ilyushin-76 is delivered to Volga-Dnepr.
October

The second modified Ilyushin-76 makes its first commercial flight between Ulyanovsk (Russia), Goteborg (Sweden) and Washington (USA).

NOVEMBER

Volga-Dnepr Airlines receives IOSA certificate verifying the airline’s compliance with the flight safety standards. Volga-Dnepr was the first cargo airline in Russia and the CIS and the second one in the world to pass the IOSA audit to meet the IATA new standards.

March

For the sixth time Volga-Dnepr receives Wings of Russia Award.

August
  • During the MAKS 2009 Air Show in Moscow, OAK (Russia's United Aircraft Corporation) Vice President for Transport Airplanes Victor Livanov, General Designer of Antonov Design Bureau Dmitry Kyva and President of Volga-Dnepr Group Alexey Isaikin signed technical specifications for development of a new AN-124 modification. Technical design requirements were set by United Aircraft Corporation in direct coordination with the launch customer for new AN-124 – Volga-Dnepr Group.
  • The new performance characteristics would feature the payload of 150 tons, increased range to 4,000 km with maximum load (15,000 km with zero payload), reduced crew to 3 members, comprehensive modernization of avionics and general improvement of operating efficiency.
October
  • Volga-Dnepr Airlines was awarded as the Best Cargo Charter Airline of the Year 2009 by the Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) at BACA Excellence Awards.
  • During the visit of the State Council to CJSC Aviastar-SP in Ulyanovsk the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev got on board of Antonov 124 and shared his opinion: “The market is huge, the cargo traffic is great, meanwhile few similar freighters are available worldwide. Someone is going to fill the gap. Better to engage our domestic enterprise; we could do it in cooperation with the US”.
May

The third new generation IL-76TD-90VD freighter, built to order at the Tashkent Chkalov Aviation Factory (GAO TAPOiCh), has joined Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ fleet and successfully completed its first commercial flight. The latest 50 tonnes capacity aircraft operated its first customer flight on May 24th.

August

August 15, Ulyanovsk. Nine of the world’s strongest athletes set a new world record moving An-124-100 Ruslan, the largest serial-production freighter. The event was devoted to Volga-Dnepr Group’s twentieth anniversary and Russia Aviation Day.

February

Volga-Dnepr Airlines signs a long-term aviation fuel contract with Aerofuels Group for aircraft fueling at its hub at Russia’s Ulyanovsk Vostochny airport. The “TZK Aerofuels” and “Aerofuels Ulyanovsk” fueling facility will supply the required annual fuel volume for all of Volga-Dnepr’s outbound and inbound flights at the airport.

April

Volga-Dnepr Airlines joins forces with Russia’s Ulyanovsk State University on a project to develop an electronic system to support the prevention of air accidents.

October

Volga-Dnepr representative office opens in Japan.

May

Volga-Dnepr Airlines has added a fifth new IL-76TD-90VD cargo aircraft to its fleet. The modernised 50 tonnes capacity freighter will perform its first commercial flight in mid-June.

In line with Volga-Dnepr’s four previous versions of the aircraft, the new Ilyushin — tail number RA-76511 — was produced at the Chkalov Aviation Factory in Tashkent under the terms of a contract signed by OAK-Transport Aircraft and Volga-Dnepr Leasing during the Moscow Air Show in 2007.

November

Volga-Dnepr Airlines has been awarded a license by the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) to perform transport operations for rockets, space mechanisms and rocket fuel.

The unlimited license officially acknowledges Volga-Dnepr as a space cargo carrier.

April

Volga-Dnepr Airlines was named the Airline of the Year — Cargo Carrier on Domestic and International Routes for the seventh time, leaving behind another six nominees.

ETS Verification GmbH, one of the leading EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) compliance experts conducted an audit of Volga-Dnepr Airlines and confirmed the company’s full compliance with EU ETS requirements.

May

Volga-Dnepr Airlines has successfully renewed its IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate for the fourth time.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines has won a silver prize in the Russian Organisation of High Social Efficiency federal contest for supporting the health and wellbeing of its employees. The airline was recognised in the award category entitled ‘Promotion of Healthy Lifestyle In Production Sphere Organizations’. The contest is an initiative by Russia’s Ministry of Labour and Social Protection. More than 40 businesses participated in the competition and the awards ceremony to celebrate the winners took place in the Russian White House in Moscow.

June

Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ AN-124-100 delivered two Boeing 787 Dreamliner wing sections, each measuring 28 meters in length and manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, from Nagoya, Japan to Everett, USA.

The unique transportation tooling, loading equipment and operating procedures for such flight were designed by an international team from Volga-Dnepr Airlines (Russia and UK), Boeing (USA) and Broetje Automation GmbH (Germany) with the use of CATIA three-dimensional modeling. Volga-Dnepr’s Engineering and Logistics Center (ELC) comprehensively contributed to the preparation stage and overall success of the logistics process.

September

Volga-Dnepr Airlines successfully completed a large air logistics project in Papua New Guinea. Over 6,000 tons of industrial equipment were carried on 88 flights operated by AN-124-100 aircraft in 103 days to supply the ExxonMobil-operated PNG LNG Project near Komo.

The project’s logistics preparation phase dated back to 2008 and involved comprehensive professional advice and expertise of Volga-Dnepr, including in construction of a new high-elevation airfield in Komo with the country’s currently longest runway of 3,200 meters.

October

An 80-ton mobile gas turbine power plant has been transported from Abakan to Kaliningrad, Russia, by Volga-Dnepr Airlines. The outsize cargo, carried onboard one of the airline’s AN-124-100 freighters, measured 20 metres in length and more than four metres in height and width. To load the plant, Volga-Dnepr’s experts used a ramp extension so the trailer carrying the gas turbine could be reversed into the freighter aircraft under its own power. This challenging process was managed and closely controlled by the technical crew of the aircraft.

November

Volga-Dnepr Airlines operated series of flights delivering 140 tons of aid and relief cargo for the victims of typhoon Haiyan and October 15 earthquake in the Philippines. Tents and sheds, generators, food, mobile camp for relief workers, automobiles, motor transport, water purifiers were carried from Singapore, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Canada to disaster area. The Norwegian Red Cross expressed its gratitude to Volga-Dnepr Airlines for professional work and its role in expediting humanitarian aid.

December

One of Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ IL-76TD-90VD freighters was the ultimate “bus stop” for an 18 metre Irisbus Citelis bus on its journey from Turin in Italy to Astana, Kazakhstan.

An-124-100 Ruslan aircraft lifted Russia’s 2014 Winter Olympic Torch high into the sky above the city of Ulyanovsk. As part of the official torch relay program, the Olympic flame was encased in a secured lantern and placed in the aircraft. While onboard, it was accompanied by an entourage of flame guardians together with a cortege of Volkswagen Amarok trucks driven into the spacious hold of the world’s largest serial airlifter.

January

Volga-Dnepr Airlines delivered 40 tons of video broadcasting equipment to Sochi supporting the opening ceremony of the 22nd Winter Olympic Games at the Fisht Olympic stadium. The airline carried the equipment from Vatry in France onboard one of its IL-76TD-90VD freighters. The shipment included display stations, projectors, power supplies and supporting equipment. In 2013-2014Volga-Dnepr Group has transported over 1800 tons of air cargo for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, including broadcast, lighting and sports equipment. Overall, over 30 charter flights were operated by the fleet of AN-124-100, IL-76TD-90VD, B747, B737 and AN-12 freighters.

February

Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ AN-124-100 aircraft carried a 103-ton rotor from Frankfurt/Hahn (Germany) to Yekaterinburg (Russia). As part of the end-to-end carriage, the company arranged for all necessary special ground equipment, authorizations and procedures to ensure safe delivery of the rotor right to the installation site.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines operated its 1,100th flight for the oil and gas industry delivering 45-tons of seabed drilling equipment on board IL-76TD-90VD aircraft from Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) to Prestwick (England).

Volga-Dnepr Airlines supplied end-to-end logistics services, including proprietary crane and craneless loading solutions, for transportation of a 6 m wide and 2.4 m high turbine ‘runner’ weighing 73 tons from Sankt Pölten (Austria) to Bratsk (Russia) for modernization of Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Station.

March

Four helicopters bound for Heli Expo in Los Angeles (USA), the world’s largest helicopter show, have crossed the Atlantic on board one of Volga-Dnepr’s AN-124-100 freighters. The helicopters were loaded at Italy’s Milano Malpensa Airport.

April

Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ AN-124-100 aircraft delivered Luch-5V and KazSat-3 telecommunications satellites from Krasnoyarsk in Russia to Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome. The time definite requirement required the aircraft and all of the external loading equipment to be ready for loading the satellites as soon as they arrived at the airport in Krasnoyarsk from their production site in the city of Zheleznogorsk. Following the safe arrival of the aircraft and its cargo to Baikonur, Volga-Dnepr delivered the satellite container back to its manufacturer in Krasnoyarsk.

May

Volga-Dnepr Group has provided a total logistics solution for a mobile inspection system of the Russian company Algont on its way to a counter terrorism exhibition in London. In order to provide the customer with a timely and cost effective delivery of the exhibition equipment from Kaluga in Russia to London in England and back again, Volga-Dnepr team arranged a multimodal carriage by road and air.

As part of its participation in the ILA 2014 air show in Berlin on May20-25, one of Volga-Dnepr Group’s AN-124-100 ‘Ruslan’ aircraft provided a unique venue for the 7th European Air Cargo Transport Congress. A range of topics was discussed including air logistics, factors that influence and form today’s European cargo transport market and the prospects of airport development in Germany.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines operated its first flight for Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology organization, moving a SaudiSat-4 satellite made in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to its launch site in Orsk, Russia. The flight was operated onboard one of the airline’s IL-76TD-90VD aircraft from Riyadh with an intermediate stop in Ulyanovsk.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines has seen a big increase in shipments for the aerospace industry with 22 flights moving space satellites over a12-week period to the end of May. One of its latest shipments was the Express AM6 Russian satellite from Krasnoyarsk in Russia to Baikonur, Kazakhstan onboard AN-124-100. Further eight satellites, produced in the UK, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and Spain, were carried on a single IL-76-TD-90VD cargo flight from the Czech city of Pardubice to Orsk, the Russian spaceport.

June

A documentary film “Welcome to Paradise” about Volga-Dnepr Group participation in a gas processing plant construction project in Papua New Guinea was named the “The best Nonfiction Film” of the VI International Festival of Films and TV Programs also known as “With All My Heart” annual film festival organized in Ulyanovsk, Russia in memory of the famous Soviet and Russian TV anchor Valentina Leontyeva.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines delivered a mobile 24-meter high drilling rig onboard its AN-124-100 Ruslan from Novy Urengoy to Mirny, Russia for a gas condensate field.

Two 9-ton artificial grass machines Desso GrassMaster used to create sustainable sports stadium pitches have arrived in Maastricht in the Netherlands from Singapore onboard a Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ IL-76TD-90VD.

July

An-124-100 and IL-76TD-90VD freighters from Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ fleet were called into action to deliver more than 80 tons of oil and gas equipment to Cape Town in South Africa.

August

Volga-Dnepr Group’s international competition to design an ‘Advanced Transport Aircraft of the 21st Century’ inspired aircraft engineers and aviation enthusiasts from 22 to 74 years of age to put forward their ideas and was won by three students attending the Moscow Aviation Institute.

September

The French Trade Commission UBIFRANCE, responsible for export promotion, has paid a visit to Volga-Dnepr Airlines in Ulyanovsk to gain a better understanding of its unique air logistics capabilities.

October

Chapman Freeborn Airchartering and Volga-Dnepr Airlines have helped Argentina’s aerospace industry deliver a piece of history by transporting the first-ever space satellite manufactured in the country from San Carlos de Bariloche Airport to its launch site in French Guiana.

November

A Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ An-124-100 freighter has transported a Sukhoi Superjet 100 fuselage as well as the aircraft’s wings and tail section from Komsomolsk-na-Amure in Khabarovsk krai to Zhukovsky, southeast of Moscow.

January

Volga-Dnepr Airlines started its 25th anniversary year by moving a 70-ton electrodynamic vibration tester from Shanghai to Russia onboard one of its biggest Antonov-124-100. For loading and offloading mobile cranes and seven tons of unique loading equipment were applied.

February

Volga-Dnepr Airlines continued to increase the number of its customers providing the delivery of 50-ton gas equipment from Russian city Kazan to Karshi, Uzbekistan, for the new partner, logistics provider G&O Solutions, and becoming a corporate sponsorship partner of Advanced International Networks Limited (AIN) that joins leading independent freight forwarders and project logistics professionals around the world.

Due to the unique technology developed by Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ engineers, An-124-100 aircraft could deliver a 70-ton one-piece cargo 2 metres longer than a cargo floor of the biggest serial transport aircraft in the world. The flight from Bakersfield, California, to Erbil, Iraq, was organized in cooperation of Volga-Dnepr Unique Air Cargo in Houston and joint venture Ruslan International.

March

Volga-Dnepr Airlines delivered the Russian telecommunications satellites Express AM7 and Express AM8 to the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site in Kazakhstan. Flights carrying the satellites were operated from Toulouse in France and from the Russian city of Krasnoyarsk onboard Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ An-124-100 freighter.

Volga-Dnepr won its 13th award “Wings of Russia”, the category ‘Contribution to the development of Russian air transport’, for the first time included into the Awards program.

April

Germany’s World Champion biathlete, Erik Lesser accompanied a delivery of sports equipment for more than 200 participants of the2014-2015 Biathlon World Cup final stage. The flight was operated onboard Volga-Dnepr’s IL-76TD-90VD aircraft.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines successfully renewed its IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate for the fifth time.

One of Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ unique An-124-100 freighters was painted using a leading coating technology “The Base coat/clear coat system” to increase the aircraft’s aerodynamic qualities and produce a fuel saving.