Volga-Dnepr Airlines has commenced a major air logistics contract to operate AN-124-100 freighter flights carrying equipment to a new natural gas field in Papua New Guinea.

The airline completed its first flight from Port Moresby to Komo in Papua New Guinea on May 3rd 2013 in support of the new gas conditioning plant being built by CB&I on behalf of Exxon Mobil.

Launching flights is the successful realisation of several years of planning by specialists from Papua New Guinea, the United States, Australia and Japan who are working as part of an international team building the new plant. Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ participation in the project dates back to 2008 and the airline’s air logistics knowledge and expertise has been vital in the development work taking place in Papua New Guinea.

One of the key events supported by Volga-Dnepr’s specialists over the past five years has been the building of a new airport in Komo to handle AN-124-100 flights. Volga-Dnepr has provided advice to help determine the optimal location and technical characteristics of the new airport’s runway, which is now the biggest in the country at 3,200 metres in length and 45 metres wide.

Volga-Dnepr won the tender to deliver supplies of gas equipment to the Komo site in 2012, based on its experience of over 20 years of delivering complex air logistics solutions for the movement of heavyweight and outsize cargo and its successful track record of serving clients in the oil and gas industry.

Work has also been conducted by the airline’s engineers to minimise the empty weight of the AN-124-100 aircraft, tooling and packaging equipment to maximise the opportunities offered by the Ruslan aircraft’s cargo hold. For these flights special loading equipment and trailers were developed and manufactured by Volga-Dnepr for loading and offloading of cargo, eliminating the need for the use of cranes. This will reduce the time needed to load and offload the cargo, an extremely important aspect of the project. Issues related to the maintenance of aircraft at Port Moresby airport have also been resolved.

Deliveries in Papua New Guinea will operate only in daylight hours because of harsh climatic conditions, which include highland areas and frequent fog.

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