MIAMI — Russian cargo carrier AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) has taken delivery of two Boeing 747-8 freighters, as part of a Memorandum of Understanding subscribed between the airframer and the Volga-Dnepr Group at the Paris Air Show last June.

The deal called for 20 additional 747-8 Freighters, valued at $7.4 billion at list prices. and adds the Antonov-124-100 aircraft to the long-term logistics support for Boeing and its partners.

“For Volga Dnepr Group, adding more new generation 747-8 Freighters will allow to secure further development of the Group’s scheduled business, AirBridgeCargo Airlines, and keep the airline’s high growth rates,” said Denis Ilin, executive president for AirBridgeCargo Airlines.

According to data provided by IATA, International air freight traffic has expanded by 3.2% in
the third quarter of 2015, compared to the same period (July YtD) in 2014. The last available data indicate that growth In advanced economies has continued at a weaker pace than expected. Also, convulsions in major emerging markets, with the exception of India, have dampened global performance. Particularly, the decrease in oil and gas prices and diplomatic sanctions have kept Russia in recession, causing the demise Transaero, the country’s second largest carrier, and the deferral or cancellation of new passenger aircraft orders from Aeroflot and UTAir.

These new planes will be deployed on the expanding ABC’s network under winter schedule 2015/2016, between Asia and the United States. With today’s deliveries, AirBridgeCargo’s all-Boeing freighter fleet now consists of eight 747-8s, nine 747-400s and a sole 737-300.