Russian cargo specialist Volga-Dnepr Group has announced plans to establish a European Union-based carrier based out of Leipzig/Halle, Germany.

According to CargoFacts, Volga-Dnepr Group's Commercial Manager, Slava Shakov, said the yet-to-be-named carrier is aiming to secure its Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) from the German civil aviation regulator (Luftfahrt-Bundesamt - LBA) by the end of 2018. In terms of fleet, he said the company is planning to overhaul “at least three” of its An-124s which will then be transferred to the German unit's AOC. Further details are to be announced early in the new year.

Volga-Dnepr Group's units currently include Volga-Dnepr Airlines with twelve An-124-100s, AirBridgeCargo with five B747-400(ERF)s, two B747-400(FSCD)s, and eleven B747-8(F)s, Atran with three B737-400(F)s, and a part-owned UK-based carrier, CargoLogicAir with one B747-400(ERF), one B747-400(FSCD), and one B747-8(F).

According to Shakhov, the Group is also looking to acquire three B737-800s for conversion to freighter configuration for commercial use. The freighters will likely be placed with the Atran unit.