Volga-Dnepr Airlines has completed its sixth Antarctic program operating 5 IL-76TD-90VD charter flights to the coldest continent under the DROMLAN international Antarctic project.
All the flights were operated from Cape Town (South Africa) to Novolazarevskaya runway (Novo) in close cooperation with the Antarctic Logistics Centre International (ALCI), covering a distance of over 4,200 km and delivering over 200 tons of general cargo essential for intact and uninterrupted work of the research stations.
With Volga-Dnepr’s expertise, experience, aligned procedures and capable fleet of five IL-76TD-90VD freighters, the company was able to accomplish landing and take-off on a glacial blue ice runway which supposes great skill and competence from the crew members.
Ekaterina Andreeva, Commercial Director for Volga-Dnepr Airlines, highlights: ‘We are proud to be part of the DROMLAN international Antarctic project this year. Despite the challenging times and COVID-19 restriction, we supported a slightly shortened program to Antarctic Research Stations, thus enabling the scientists to continue their research programs, even the time was shortened. We would like to thank our partner, ALCI, who creates the intercontinental air bridge between Cape Town (South Africa) and Novolazarevskaya station during the austral summer. Each year we increase the number of certified crew members to guarantee smooth operations – by 2020/2021 we have had two trained and qualified crews and we hope that by the next season we will have more’.
Since 2015 Volga-Dnepr Airlines has been part of the program and accomplished over 150 charter flights to/from Antarctica delivering over 1,700 tons of general and special cargo. The modernized IL-76TD-90VD aircraft provides a series of advantages in terms of its flying distance capability, payload weight capacity, hermetical cargo hold, and its fuel-efficient and environment-friendly engines. This enables Volga-Dnepr to complete cargo missions to any remote regions under severe weather conditions.
Each year the company ramps up its capabilities and introduces new routes and delivery options. For a number of years Volga-Dnepr has been offering delivery solutions with ‘airlift-and-drop’ possibility which are more preferable for some types of cargo and operating flights to other stations in Antarctica. In 2020, Volga-Dnepr’s specialists masterminded its first-ever IL-76TD-90VD fights which crossed the Antarctica on its way from South Africa to Chile.