Russian freight and heavy-lift specialist, the Volga-Dnepr Group, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) for the proposed purchase of twenty B747-8(F)s valued at USD7.4 billion at list prices. The tentative order was announced during the ongoing Paris Air Show 2015 at Paris Le Bourget.

Adding to the six already in service with Group subsidiary AirBridge Cargo (RU, Ulyanovsk Vostochny), the aircraft will be acquired through a combination of direct purchases and leasing over the next seven years.

At the same time, the Group will also avail an An-124 freighter from its Volga-Dnepr Airlines (VI, Ulyanovsk Vostochny) unit for long-term logistical support to Boeing and its partners.

Currently, Volga-Dnepr operates ten An-124-100s and five Il-76TD-90VDs while AirBridge's fleet, aside from its six B747-8(F)s, also includes eight B747-400(F)s. Atran (V8, Moscow Vnukovo) also operates three B737-400(F)s - one on behalf of AirBridge Cargo with the other two operating for the United Parcel Service (UPS).