July 25 - Volga-Dnepr Group's Engineering and Logistics Centre (ELC) developed a special loading frame for Panalpina to move a 30-tonne shipment of oil and gas equipment onboard an IL-76TD-90VD.

The consignment consisted of five pieces, including 13 m long pipes weighing 18 tonnes, which were flown from Johor Bahru, Malaysia to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in Russia.

Normally the loading of such a cargo would require six tonnes of special loading equipment to be shipped in from Europe, but in order to save time and cost Volga-Dnepr came up with another solution.

Azat Yakupov, senior load planning engineer for dangerous cargo at Volga-Dnepr Airlines, explained: "We created a solution by developing a compact 600 kg frame that enabled the pipes to be loaded using the aircraft's roller tracks.

"Together with my ELC colleagues we prepared the necessary drawings and contracted a company in Johor Bahru to manufacture the frame for us. This enabled us to load the shipment safely at Johor Bahru Senai International Airport using the IL-76TD-90VD's onboard crane as well as an external crane and lifting equipment, without any delay to the planned flight schedule."

Volga-Dnepr said that air charter sales of IL-76TD-90VD flights carrying oil and gas equipment have doubled in the first half of 2014 to 32 percent of all flights operated by the aircraft, compared with the same period of 2013.