AirBridgeCargo Airlines carried 92,000 tons of cargo during the third quarter, a 3-percent, year-over-year increase.
Traffic ticked up 18 percent during the quarter with a 15-percent rise in capacity. Average load factors rose to 78 percent.
During the third quarter, the airline saw dividends from its program to promote Russian imports, carrying 13 percent more imports during the quarter than in the third quarter of 2012. This import result, which made the third quarter the best three-month span for imports this year, represented 26 percent of the carrier’s total cargo volume in the quarter.
“In the third quarter, we continued moving forward and have shown positive development results on our key operational performance indicators, which reconfirms the progress and value of our long-term strategy to improve the quality of our product and operational efficiency,” Dennis Ilin, ABC’s executive vice president, said in a statement.
The carrier launched its first flights to the U.S. — a thrice-weekly service to Chicago — in August 2011. Those first services brought 100 tons of capacity into the market on each 747-700 flight. According to CEVA’s Richard Zablocki, ABC’s entry into the Chicago market muted prices for airfreight exports down because of the rush of excess capacity.
“The Russian carriers — AirBridgeCargo and Air Cargo Germany — they did have an affect on bringing prices down in the markets in which they operated,” Zablocki told American Shipper
. “As Air Cargo Germany went into the Dallas market, we saw a similar development there. They obviously didn’t survive, and so rates returned to where they were prior to Air Cargo Germany coming in.”
Volga-Dnepr Airlines owned a 49-percent stake in Air Cargo Germany, which went under in May.