News that Cargolux recorded yet another record profit, $1.6bn, must be devastating for AirBridgeCargo, once a key rival of the Luxembourg carrier.

The Russian carrier also announced its results this month, according to local media, but fared less well as 2022, when it made a loss of RUB13.5bn ($167m).

The year before, ABC made a profit of $670m with approximately half the fleet of Cargolux, which made a profit of $1.3bn in 2021.

ABC’s revenue last year fell 81%, to RUB35bn ($436m). But long-term liabilities and borrowings all reduced, in the latter case, to zero.

The airline did not disclose traffic volumes for the year, but Russian airlines saw cargo volumes in general fall 59% from the year before, with ABC accounting for nearly half of this.

Kommersant reported that ABC founder Alexei Isaikin and shareholder Sergey Shklyanik received some $133m in dividends last year. It said that, at the end of 2022, Mr Isaikin held 75% of the shares with Mr Shkyanik having 25%. Mr Isaikin, having been placed on the UK sanctions list, last year divested his financial interest in the European companies connected to Volga-Dnepr Group, owner of ABC.

ABC, which had some 16 Boeing aircraft it can no longer operate, is set to relaunch operations in June, using an Il-96, with the first flights between Moscow and Beijing. A second Il-96 will be delivered next year, following work to restore it to airworthiness.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines, meanwhile, has lost one of its precious AN-124s, which had been impounded in Canada but is now set to be given to Antonov Airlines in Ukraine.

Volga-Dnepr’s UK carrier, Cargologicair, remains under administration. In February, administrators found the carrier had some £14m in assets, but, among other creditors, owed employees some £262,000 and HMRC £900,000.

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