Volga-Dnepr Group’s air cargo airlines, AirBridgeCargo Airlines and ATRAN Airlines, have achieved over a three-fold increase in e-commerce volumes for the first nine months of 2020.
The Group reports over 75,000 tonnes of packages from online purchases were delivered around the carriers’ global network onboard Boeing 747 and Boeing 737 freighters. The major contributing trade lanes were Asia-Europe, Asia-North America and Europe-Russia.
The forthcoming string of online shopping days – Singles’ Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas – will further enhance the growing volumes of cross-border international shipments, which the companies intend to accommodate with ten additional B747 charter flights in November from China to Russia and an extended number of B737 flights.
Nikolay Glushnev, General Director, AirBridgeCargo Airlines, highlights: “The pandemic served as a trigger for the e-commerce sector and all the stakeholders needed to adjust quickly to the rapid changes and disruptions. Within AirBridgeCargo Airlines and Volga-Dnepr Group, we introduced dedicated long-term charter programmes, which guaranteed capacity availability for our customers during these turbulent times and high-quality services.
“Understanding that e-com goes in line with the digital customer journey, we have enhanced the customer journey experience to guarantee flawless, timely and user-friendly communication. This covered development of IT Hub, online booking tool to facilitate smooth ‘work-from-home’ process for customers with constant booking confirmations, website e-services with regards to scheduled and track&trace, and schedule updates through e-mail in auto mode with frequency and other settings adjusted upon customers’ needs,” he said.
Vitaliy Andreev, General Director of ATRAN Airlines, comments: “We have been experiencing the emerging demand as of September. That said, following the market sentiments and our customers’ needs we have increased the number of Hangzhou-Riga-Moscow frequencies from five to seven in September, as well as introduced additional Hangzhou-Vladivostok-Novosibirsk flights from October. The right capacity and the right connectivity will allow us to further support our customers from the e-commerce sector which, thankfully, shows no signs of relenting.”
While the e-commerce sector has been traditionally strong over the last several years, 2020 has seen volumes of cross-border shipments skyrocket already due to the pandemic, with additional demand for high-tech products to cater to the new ‘work-from-home’ standard practise, and brick and mortar retailers turning to online solutions to maintain operations.