May 27 - A third new generation IL-76TD-90VD freighter, built to order at the Tashkent Chkalov Aviation Factory, has joined Volga-Dnepr Airlines' fleet and successfully completed its first commercial flight on May 24th.

Delivery of the aircraft is part of a contract for three additional IL-76TD-90VD freighters signed by the Volga-Dnepr Leasing Company with JSC 'UAC - Transport Aircraft' at the MAKS Air Show in Moscow in 2007.

Volga-Dnepr's initiative to invest in the development of a modernised version of the IL-76 to comply with international noise and emissions standards has proven an immediate success. The aircraft's first two 
IL-76TD-90VD's have been in constant demand with customers all over the world, justifying the USD90 million investment already made by Volga-Dnepr Group in the new freighter.

The new IL-76TD-90VD is fully compliant with all current and perspective requirements of ICAO and can operate flights worldwide without limitations. The freighters are powered by PS-90À-76 engines and equipped with modern avionics. With a higher payload, longer range and other technical advancements, the new Ilyushin freighters not only have a significantly improved operational capability but they are also more cost efficient than their predecessors.

"Today, the new IL-76 holds a significant niche in the airfreight market. Bringing the third IL-76TD-90VD into service is another important step in realising Volga-Dnepr Group's global strategy of fleet development, which forecasts increasing our fleet to up to 15-20 IL76TD-90VD aircraft by 2020," said Andrey Pakhomov, general director of Volga-Dnepr Leasing LLC.

Volga-Dnepr expects to take delivery of the next two IL-76TD-90VD from JSC 'UAC - Transport Aircraft' in 2011.