AirBridgeCargo (RU, Ulyanovsk Vostochny) took delivery of its maiden B777-F on August 17, 2020. The aircraft joined the carrier's existing fleet of seventeen B747 freighters.

VQ-BAO (msn 66625) is dry-leased by the carrier's parent, Volga-Dnepr Group, from DAE Capital and was ferried from Everett directly to Sharjah on delivery.

The twin-engine freighter is the first of a trio due to deliver to AirBridgeCargo as part of a sales/lease-back deal signed with DAE Capital last year. The schedule of the remaining two deliveries is unknown at this time.

While neither party explicitly referred to it, the three B777-Fs were the subject of a court case between Boeing and Volga-Dnepr Group earlier this year. The Russian cargo holding, at that time in dire financial straits, missed pre-delivery payments prompting Boeing to try to remarket the aircraft to other customers. When cargo rates soared due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Volga-Dnepr Group secured financing for the aircraft and sought to stop Boeing from selling them to other airlines. While at that time, the US court ruled that the manufacturer had the right to seek new customers, this recent delivery suggests that the parties reached a settlement.

Both Boeing and Volga-Dnepr Group declined to comment.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, AirBridgeCargo currently operates four B747-400(ERF)s and thirteen B747-8(F)s. Sister airline CargoLogicAir (CLU, London Stansted) operates one B747-400(ERF) and one B747-400(FSCD), Atran (V8, Moscow Vnukovo) operates three B737-400(F)s and two B737-800(BCF)s, and CargoLogic Germany (GCL, Leipzig/Halle) - two B737-400(F)s and one B737-400(SF). Volga-Dnepr Airlines (VI, Ulyanovsk Vostochny) itself operates only Russian-made freighters.