Volga-Dnepr Airlines is an international cargo airline based in Ulyanovsk, Russia. Founded in 1991, the airline is one of the largest cargo airlines in the world and operates charter services to over 400 destinations worldwide.
Volga-Dnepr Airlines was founded in 1991 by two entrepreneurs, Alexander Selivanov and Valery Tolmachev, who were eager to capitalize on the newly-opened Russian aviation market. The pair leased two An-12 cargo aircrafts and set up shop in the city of Ulyanovsk.
In 1993, the airline was granted a license to operate international cargo flights, allowing them to expand their operations and offer services to Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Over the years, Volga-Dnepr Airlines has gradually expanded its fleet, which now includes a total of 24 aircrafts. These include four Ilyushin Il-76TD freighters, four Ilyushin Il-76MF freighters, and eight Antonov An-124-100 freighters. The remaining eight aircrafts are a mix of Boeing 737-400 and An-12 cargo aircrafts. The airline also has five additional An-124s on order.
Since its founding in 1991, Volga-Dnepr Airlines has achieved several important milestones. These include:
1. In 1994, the airline was the first Russian cargo carrier to operate flights to the United States.
2. In 2009, the airline launched its “Volga-Dnepr Unique Air Cargo” service, allowing customers to quickly transport oversized and heavy cargo.
3. In 2011, the airline became the first Russian airline to receive a “Safety Management System” certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency.
4. In 2013, the airline opened a new office in Shanghai, China, expanding its presence in the region.
5. In 2017, the airline began offering passenger charter services in addition to its cargo services.
Volga-Dnepr Airlines has had a relatively safe track record since its founding in 1991. The only notable incident involving the airline was a 2007 crash of an An-12 cargo plane in Sudan, which resulted in the deaths of all nine onboard.
The crash was later investigated by the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), which concluded that the aircraft had been overloaded with cargo and that the crew had failed to properly monitor the weight of the aircraft. The investigation also found that the aircraft had been improperly maintained and that a number of other safety violations had been committed.
Since its founding in 1991, Volga-Dnepr Airlines has grown to become one of the world’s largest cargo airlines. The airline has achieved several important milestones over the years, including becoming the first Russian cargo carrier to operate flights to the United States and the first Russian airline to receive a “Safety Management System” certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency. The airline has also had a relatively safe track record, with the only notable incident being the 2007 crash of an An-12 cargo plane in Sudan.