May 3 - AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) has launched services to its first destination in North America with three flights a week to Chicago.

The new route will operate from ABC's hub in Moscow to Chicago's O'Hare Airport via Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, utilising a Boeing 747-400 (seen below) freighter offering over 100 tonnes of cargo capacity per flight. 

ABC, part of Volga-Dnepr Group, says it has chosen "the windy city" as its first destination in North America as Chicago is the biggest transport hub in the United States and conveniently situated at the intersection of major international air cargo routes. 

Speaking about the launch, Tatyana Arslanova, executive president of ABC said: "We become the first all-cargo carrier to offer regular services from Russia to the USA, which can only help trade links between the two countries. As such an important market, the USA has always been on our strategic radar screen as we have increased our aircraft fleet and capability." 

Since last year, AirBridgeCargo has been represented in the US market by GSSA partnerNetwork Cargo Systems, and says it is planning to open its own office in the US by the end of 2011.