Volga-Dnepr Group and the Ilyushin interstate aviation company have signed a general agreement for three new IL- 76TD-90VD freighter aircraft. Under the terms of the agreement, Volga-Dnepr will place a fi rm order before August 1st, 2007 to purchase three aircraft of this type, the fi rst of which will be delivered within fi fteen months.
The partners have established an option agreement for another ten IL-76TD-90VDs for the future. Volga- Dnepr has been developing the IL- 76TD modernisation programme since 2002, and the Volga-Dnepr Leasing Co was established in 2004 to promote the project. The three-year programme to modernise the aircraft was successfully completed in 2006, when Volga-Dnepr’s commercial fl eet took delivery of the fi rst new generation IL-76TD-90VD. A second aircraft, being built at the Chkalov Tashkent Aircraft Production Co, will enter service with Volga-Dnepr in the third quarter of 2007.
The new aircraft, which has an increased payload to 50 tonnes as well as new engines and avionics, has been by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), allowing the freighter to operate anywhere in the world, including major markets in Europe, North America, Australia and Japan without any limitations.
In 2006, IL-76 operations accounted for 29 percent of the overall volume carried by Volga-Dnepr’s charter fl eet and contributed 16 percent to the group’s total sales revenues. Volga-Dnepr’s market research indicates that the potential market size for the new IL-76 will require another fi fteen to twenty aircraft by 2015.