HOUSTON — Volga-Dnepr Group, one of the world’s largest cargo airline operators and a leader in the transportation of oversized and super-heavy cargoes, announced it will open an Operations Base at George Bush Intercontinental Airport to give customers in North and South America faster and more economic access to its unique range of delivery solutions.
With the inauguration of the Group’s Operations Base at the airport, it will dedicate one of its 12 Antonov An-124-100 freighter aircraft as well as crews, technical support teams and special loading equipment for unique cargoes to the Houston facility. The move will ensure the airline’s customers in the Americas, including its longstanding and major clients in the oil and gas, heavy machinery, energy and aerospace sectors, will benefit from immediate local expertise and services to meet their specialist logistics requirements.
The Group has enjoyed a successful and growing partnership with Bush Airport prior to this new commitment, providing delivery services for the most challenging and complex transportation needs of companies in the region.
Located in the east cargo area at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, the new Operations Base will improve accessibility to the airport and the Group’s services. It will provide unique and specialized on-site engineering solutions to enable the safe and secure transportation of heavy and outsize cargoes, using its team’s expertise in delivering complex load planning and delivery solutions. The Base will be staffed by Volga-Dnepr specialists, including load planning engineers and loadmasters, operations, navigation and ground handling specialists. The base is an expansion of the Group’s sales office, which was established in Houston in 2001, and will create 30 to 40 new jobs in the local area.
Volga-Dnepr Group has grown its presence in Texas and across the North and South American markets due to the unique transportation capabilities of its outsize and super-heavy cargo operator, Volga-Dnepr Airlines, and its special fleet of Antonov An-124-100 and modernized IL-76TD-90VD ramp loading freighters. More recently, its relationship with the airport has been extended by the Boeing 747 freighter services operated to and from Houston several times a week by the Group’s strategic partner, CargoLogicAir.
Konstantin Vekshin, Executive President, Charter Cargo Operations of Volga-Dnepr Group, commented: “For Volga-Dnepr Group, the choice of Houston as our Operations Base to serve customers in North and South America is a natural development of our existing relationship with the airport and another key milestone in the development of our company in the Americas market. This commitment brings us even closer to our customers geographically and enhances our ability to provide special ‘out of the box’ solutions which make our customers’ lives easier. We feel this move will accomplish these goals and enable us to offer more economical and faster services, managed by a team of local experts.
“Our business growth in North and South America stems from our holistic approach, focused on safety, security, on-time delivery with cost-effective solutions. This is not just rhetoric, we have been demonstrating these capabilities for over 28 years by developing innovative solutions to move our customers’ most complex cargoes. The infrastructure now located in Houston will also enhance Volga-Dnepr’s important role in supporting humanitarian missions across the region by facilitating fast response operations to the worst-affected areas in the aftermath of natural disasters. By working in partnership with government and non-governmental organizations, we know from long experience that accelerating the response to disasters in vital to restoring stability and saving lives, and we are now better equipped to do this than ever before.”
The announcement is the latest example of the steady growth of Houston’s cargo operations, which are on track to surpass more than 500,000 metric tons of cargo moved in 2018, led mainly by increasing demand for shipments of industrial equipment, computer components, e-commerce goods and perishables products around the world. A total of 13 cargo carriers are currently operating in Houston. In addition, passenger airlines are finding more air cargo opportunities.
“The addition of Volga-Dnepr Group’s new operations base is yet another step fostering future growth in cargo operations at Bush Airport,” said Houston Aviation Director Mario Diaz. “Houston Airports remains committed to developing and improving intermodal connectivity, and new service offerings such as Volga-Dnepr’s operations base help us achieve our mission by further connecting the people, business, cultures, and economies of the world to Houston.”