AirBridgeCargo exits Europe, shippers expect air freight rate hike

Air cargo shippers on Asia to Europe lanes should expect a spike in prices as a substantial amount of capacity has come out of the market. The EU and UK ban on Russian aircraft in their airspace, in the past three days has forced Volga-Dnepr Group’s AirBridgeCargo (ABC) remove all its aircraft from Europe. With the ban in place, at least four aircrafts have departed the EU. ABC in the current marketplace has a large capacity with its fleet containing 15 747Fs, and one 777F. With Asia-Europe its key operating region, the aircraft are currently either in Russia or operating to destinations in Asia. It remains to be seen what volumes it can carry in its new restricted world.
Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ aircraft have also left the EU, with one AN-124 destined to arrive in Marseille yesterday, diverted to Tunis. Canada has also banned Russian airlines from its airspace, but one AN-124 appears to be in Toronto, and it is unclear whether it will be able to leave.
Even the US is considering a ban on Russian airlines but has not yet implemented it. ABC had two aircraft in the US which departed over the weekend. EU airlines associated with Volga-Dnepr – Cargologicair in the UK and Cargologic Germany – continue to operate normally, and all aircraft are currently in the EU or UK.
The impact is not only being felt by the Russian airlines. Finnair Cargo has also cut all its operations to east Asia, reducing capacity again. The airline will not operate to Osaka, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai or Guangzhou, with a review of the situation to take place on 6 March.