AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), is continuing to solidify its tonnage growth with more than 575,000 tonnes of cargo carried in the first 10 months of 2017 – 15% up year-on-year. The company reported an upsurge in all major markets and a positive outlook through the end of the year. ABC’s load factor rose 4% higher YOY, stepping into Q4 at a solid 71%. ABC attributes its growth to the successful realization of its fleet expansion strategy, the development of special cargoes solutions and the introduction of new destinations. The company’s volume growth was facilitated by increasing bi-directional trade flows on the Europe-Asia lane, where exports from Europe to Asia were nearing the level of volumes from Asia to Europe, with 36% and 37% respectively. The freight corridors demonstrating significant growth rates for this period were South-East Asia-North America, South-East Asia-Europe, Europe-Japan&Korea and Europe-North America, which saw 53%, 52%, 49% and 23% increases respectively, not only for general cargo but for special commodities as well. Some lanes stood out in terms of special cargo transportation demand, specifically automotive spare parts from Europe to North America and aerospace equipment from South East Asia to North America. Apart from market recovery and economic upturn, a major part of ABC’s growth is down to the refinement of its sales structure. During the year, ABC continued the development of its centralized sales structure, complemented by regional expertise, instead of relying on a GSA network in the regions where ABC has a footprint, transforming this into a competitive advantage through 24/7 availability and being ready to cater for customers’ needs. AirBridgeCargo has reaped the rewards of its focused product development strategy, which has been at the forefront of ABC’s operations for the last year. The airline achieved strong gains in its special cargoes volumes, with temperature-controlled pharma shipments heading the list (+153%), off-size&heavy (+32%), e-commerce (+22%) and dangerous goods (+10%). Throughout the whole year, ABC has been developing product structures with dedicated and qualified staff at all levels - Sales, Customer Service, Operations, and Procurement - which has helped to reinforce handling procedures and control processes required during all stages of transportation. As a pure freight carrier, ABC offers a number of advantages for the transportation of special cargo, taking onboard goods restricted by passenger carriers, such as out-of-gauge cargoes and dangerous goods. “We have approached peak season and Q4 well prepared in terms of fleet availability with recently-deployed brand new Boeing 747-8F, which ensures we have sufficient capacity to accommodate additional volumes. Our well balanced network and newly-integrated destinations provide extensive transportation connections and cater to the needs of our customers worldwide, with connectivity options through our hub in Moscow Sheremetyevo airport. Throughout 2017 we have been engaged in a constant dialogue with our customers, bolstering our product development in line with ABC’s network expansion, whilst improving the quality of our services and optimizing costs. We strongly believe that these efforts will facilitate ABC’s navigation through the peak season and give a bright outlook for our annual results,” highlighted Sergey Lazarev, General Director for AirBridgeCargo Airlines.