Volga-Dnepr Group’s Engineering & Logistics Center (ELC) recently developed a special loading frame to provide a timely and cost-efficient solution to move a 30t oil and gas shipment on-board an IL-76TD-90VD plane from Johor Bahru, Malaysia, to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia.
The oil and gas shipment consisted of five pieces, including 13m pipes weighing 18t. Normally, loading such cargo would require the use of 6t of special loading equipment. However, at the time of the customer enquiry for the flight, Volga-Dnepr already had an aircraft positioned in the Asia Pacific region, so the ELC team set about creating a solution that prevented the additional time and cost of moving specialist loading equipment from Europe.
Volga-Dnepr Airlines dangerous cargo senior load planning engineer Azat Yakupov said: "We created a solution by developing a compact 600kg frame that enabled the pipes to be loaded using the aircraft’s roller tracks. Together with my ELC colleagues we prepared the necessary drawings and contracted a company in Johor Bahru to manufacture the frame for us. This enabled us to load the shipment safely at Johor Bahru Senai International Airport using the IL-76TD-90VD’s onboard crane as well as an external crane and lifting equipment without any delay to the planned flight schedule."
Volga-Dnepr says air charter sales of IL-76TD-90VD flights carrying oil and gas equipment doubled in the first half of 2014 to 32% of all flights operated by the aircraft compared to the opening six months of last year. Volga-Dnepr Airlines has a fleet of five new generation IL-76TD-90VD aircraft, which are approved by ICAO for global operations.
Volga-Dnepr Airlines regional sales manager Georgy Sokolov said: "The customer for this particular oil and gas cargo delivery was our longstanding partner, Panalpina. The modernized IL-76TD-90VD has developed an excellent reputation in the international air cargo market and especially in the oil and gas industry and this is reflected in the doubling of our business in this market segment in the first six months of 2014."