April 29 - AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) has begun its tenth anniversary year with the strongest first quarter in its history, with tonnage up 9 percent at 86,500 tonnes.

ABC says its growth reflects market improvements in Russia, Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific as well as the success of its own sales activities.

Freight tonne-kilometres in the first three months of 2014 rose by 13 percent, exceeding the industry average of 4 percent growth in the months of January and February. Load factor for Q1 was 71 percent, also higher than the industry average.

ABC also continued its network growth in the first three months of 2014, adding Dallas, Leipzig and Malmo as new on-line destinations and increasing its frequencies to and from Chicago.

ABC celebrated the tenth anniversary of its first commercial flight on April 23, 2014. In 2004, the airline operated one B747-200 and served five destinations, but now operates a fleet of 12 Boeing 747 freighters and serves 23 on-line destinations across the world.

"Today is a proud milestone for our company and a tribute to all of the members of the ABC team around the world and our parent Volga-Dnepr Group for enabling us to achieve our strategic goals over the first 10 years of our development," said Denis Ilin, executive president of ABC.