Heavy and outsized cargo carrier, Polet Airlines has announced it is entering the international regular cargo market by establishing a hub in Munich with fl ights serving key gateways throughout Europe and around the world.
To accomplish this Polet has leased three IL-96-400T aircraft from Ilyushin Finance Co. which will begin commercial operations by third quarter 2009, Polet said. Th e carrier said it will also purchase three additional IL-96-400T aircraft in 2010-2011.
According to Polet the Russian-made, wide body, four engine IL-96-400T has Ã¢â‚¬Å“declared characteristicsÃ¢â‚¬Â including fuel efficiency, payload and cargo volume that make it an Ã¢â‚¬Å“attractive product in most market segments.Ã¢â‚¬Â The carrier also claims the IL-96 has a fuel consumption some 30 per cent lower than a B747-400F.
Aerofl ot Cargo had similarly planned to centre its cargo fleet around the IL-96- 400T to supplement its fleet of MD11s with an order worth nearly US$450 million for six Il-96-400Ts but subsequently backed out because it said the aircraft did not meet the basic requirements for fuel consumption, payload, etc.
Sales and marketing of the new services will be done in cooperation with partners and GSAs, with direct sales possibly in the long term, Polet said. It added that discussions are currently underway with leasing forwarders, agents and cargo consolidators with respect to all global markets.
The privately-held Russian carrier also plans on developing the Russian and CIS market with linehaul and regional feeder services. Polet said the marketÃ¢â‚¬™s key peculiarity lay in its asymmetrical fl ow of cargo.
Most of the the cargo originates in Moscow and to a lesser extent from St Petersburg and flows to various larger Russian cities including: Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok.
A number of other medium to large sized cities in the CIS region like Yakutsk, Norilsk, Mirny, Magadan, Petropavlovsk- Kamchatski, Tashkent and Baku have only limited or no regular air cargo service and hence present market opportunities, Polet said. The carrier said it is confi dent of turning a profi t from this new business strategy by 2011.