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AirBridgeCargo to resume operations with Ilyushin IL-96

Russian Ilyushin IL-96 operations will be resumed by former B747 and 777 operator AirBridgeCargo. 

Flights operated by Russia-based AirBridge Cargo, which were halted in March 2022 as a result of sanctions, will resume using the Ilyushin IL-96. 

The airline will restart using the Ilyushin IL-96 to transport freight, according to local media sources. On the social media platform Telegram, one of the planes, with the registration RA-96103, was seen sporting the airline’s livery. 

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Prior to being forced to halt operations due to sanctions placed on Russia and the carrier’s now-former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alexey Isaikin, as a result of the illegal invasion of Ukraine, AirBridgeCargo had operated 15 Boeing 747 and a single Boeing 777 aircraft. 

In August 2022, Isaikin parted ways with the parent firm of AirBridgeCargo, Volga-Dnepr Group. CargoLogic Deutschland and Cargologicair, two companies of the Volga-Dnepr Group, are situated in Europe. According to data from planespotters.net, both airlines parked their fleets in March 2022, with a former Cargologicair Boeing 747-400F being redelivered to National Airlines in the US and receiving the new registration number N537CA. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued the aircraft’s certificate on October 4, 2022, and, according planespotters.net data, it has been in storage at Orlando International Airport (MCO), Florida, US, since November 5, 2022.

According to statistics from Ch-aviation.com, MCO is now performing maintenance on the 747-400F. Prior to now, UPS Airlines, based in the US, stated in its filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it will expand its fleet by two used Boeing 747-8Fs in 2024. 12 of the 15 Boeing 747-8F aircraft that are now in storage belong to AirBridgeCargo, and according to data from ch-aviation.com, those 747-8Fs are currently parked at Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO).

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