Drawing on a number of research reports as well as internal figures, Denis Ilyin, senior vice president for strategy and commercial of AirBridgeCargo (ABC) Airlines, part of the Volga-Dnepr Group, says Russia's present share of 1.4% of the total $80 billion global air cargo market will grow to 8% in 2015 at $8.4 billion and 16% by 2030, to $25.6 billion.
Speaking at the Russia & CIS Aircraft Conference in Moscow, Ilyin claimed that, “Despite a certain decrease in the passenger air market, global air cargo is constantly developing and average annual growth up to 2025 is forecast at between 5.4% and 7.1%. Russia can and will benefit strongly from this. Airfreight growth in Russia over the next 17 years is forecast to be greater than that for North America, Europe-Middle East, Intra-Europe, Europe-Africa, Europe-North America, Latin America-Europe and Latin America-North America.”
Using Volga-Dnepr statistics, Ilyin estimates that there will be 8-10% growth in demand for ramp aircraft to 2020. He sees that as traffic grows capacity needs will be met by freighters to be built both by Russian and Western manufacturers. For example, 21 large freighters are handling Russia's current scheduled cargo service market needs. By 2020, Ilyin forecasts a need for 76 freighters which will include 25 Boeing 747s.
Supporting the growth is development of two hubs. One in Moscow that Ilyin says offers natural connections with the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. The other at Krasnoyarsk in Russia's Far East, that he characterizes as being in the center of major trade lanes that connect the US, Europe and Canada with China, Japan and Southeast Asia by means of cross-polar and trans-Siberian routes.
Launched by Volga-Dnepr Group in 2006, ABC is the first all cargo Russian airline to operate scheduled services in Europe, Russia and Asia. It expects to initiate scheduled services to North America this year.