July 12 - Volga-Dnepr Group and Boeing have finalised terms for the acquisition of 20 B747-8 freighters, four of which have already been delivered.

HLPFI reported in June 2015 that Volga-Dnepr Group had signed a memorandum of understanding with Boeing for the 20 freighters, which have a price of USD7.4 billion and will form part of AirBridgeCargo Airlines' (ABC) fleet.

As part of the deal, Boeing signed an agreement with ABC and Volga-Dnepr Airlines, which will see the airlines provide long-term logistics support for Boeing Commercial Airplanes and its partners using B747-8 and AN-124-100 freighters.

Boeing and Volga-Dnepr Group will also enter into an agreement to look at future services opportunities, informed the parties.

"Volga-Dnepr intends to provide strong evidence to the market that the unique AN-124 and Boeing 747-8 four-engine freighters are still essential to serve the fast-changing requirements of our customers worldwide," said Alexey Isaikin, president of Volga-Dnepr Group at the 2016 Farnborough International Air Show.

"The most obvious proof of this is the high demand for Boeing 747-8 and АN-124 freighters from customers in the aerospace industry, which today represents 30 percent of our overall operations."

The new aircraft will support Volga-Dnepr's strategy to grow ABC's fleet and replace its current 747-400 freighters. The new freighters will be acquired through a mix of direct purchases and leasing over the next six years.

Isaikin added that Volga-Dnepr is also signing a long-term agreement with General Electric at this year's Farnborough International Air Show.