Ukraine Crisis: AirBridgeCargo Operations Effectively Eradicated

Photo Credit: Arash Abed/AviationSource

LONDON – The Ukraine Crisis has effectively eradicated the operations of Russian cargo carrier AirBridgeCargo (ABC), with only one flight operated since March 13.

Such a statement comes as no surprise as sanctions on Russia had initially limited the number of destinations the carrier could actually operate to.

Let’s take a further dive into this eradication of operations that had effectively happened on March 13.

AirBridgeCargo’s Fleet…

The carrier has a total of 17 aircraft in its fleet, with every single one parked. As per, here is a list of where all of the aircraft are stored:

Aircraft RegistrationAircraft TypeLocation of Storage
VP-BIGBoeing 747-400FMoscow
VP-BIKBoeing 747-400FMoscow
VP-BIMBoeing 747-400FSharjah
VQ-BWWBoeing 747-400FMoscow
VP-BBLBoeing 747-8FMoscow
VP-BBPBoeing 747-8FMoscow
VP-BBYBoeing 747-8FMoscow
VP-BINBoeing 747-8FMoscow
VP-BJSBoeing 747-8FMoscow
VQ-BFUBoeing 747-8FMoscow
VQ-BGZBoeing 747-8FMoscow
VQ-BLQBoeing 747-8FMoscow
VQ-BLRBoeing 747-8FMoscow
VQ-BRHBoeing 747-8FMoscow
VQ-BRJBoeing 747-8FMoscow
VQ-BVRBoeing 747-8FMoscow
VQ-BAOBoeing 777FMoscow

Effectively, all but one aircraft are parked up in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, except VP-BIM which is stuck in Sharjah at this time.

RadarBox: Last Flight Was on May 18…

According to data from, the last flight that recorded a landing was on May 18, which was RU398 between Shanghai and Moscow.

This flight was operated by VQ-BWW in particular. RadarBox does list that same flight to have operated on June 13, but the status of the flight was marked as unknown, meaning that the flight may not have actually happened.

As you can see on the table above, there was a load of flights scheduled in April, which was when the last set of schedules was released and available to RadarBox.

It was March 13 when the last flight was recorded as operating which was RU692 between Seoul and Moscow using VQ-BGZ.

This is also not a surprise as that was when the Ukraine Crisis was beginning to develop further and sanctions were hitting Russia left, right, front and center.

Anything marked as scheduled was flights that were supposed to happen but didn’t end up doing so. The airline has the following destinations from countries that would have joined in with the sanctions effort against Russia:

  • Liege
  • Frankfurt
  • Leipzig
  • Milan
  • Amsterdam
  • Madrid
  • Zaragoza
  • Heathrow
  • Anchorage
  • Atlanta
  • Chicago

That does represent a lot of destinations that ABC no longer has access to, which of course is going to put a dent in revenues, increase costs and result in downsizing effectively.

ABC Has Been Quiet During the Crisis…

As is definitely imaginable, ABC has been very quiet during the crisis, with their last press release distributed on February 20, which was four days before the invasion of Ukraine began.

Despite its links to Russia, ABC was a vital part of cargo operations for the aviation sector around the world, which has resulted in other carriers filling that gap.

However, with a lot of operations starting from Moscow, such limitations on operations are continuing to bite, and AirBridgeCargo will no doubt have to keep waiting until the crisis and sanctions die down.

Who knows when that will be, we will have to wait and see.

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