April 2, 2018 5:15 PM, EDT

Russian Air Cargo Carrier Adding Service to Ohio Airport

AirBridgeCargo Airlines

Russia-based AirBridgeCargo Airlines will become the fifth international air cargo freighter operator at Rickenbacker Airport this week when it launches weekly scheduled flights April 5.

AirBridge, also referred to as ABC, will join Cargolux, Cathay Pacific Cargo, Emirates SkyCargo and Etihad Cargo at the fast-growing shipping hub.

Cargo tonnage at Rickenbacker is up 22.5% for the first two months of 2018 after finishing 2017 nearly 27% higher than the previous year.

“With a view to continue expansion of our footprint in the [United States], Columbus has been on the radar of our business interests for quite a while,” AirBridge General Director Sergey Lazarev said in a statement. Lazarev cited Rickenbacker’s “proximity to distribution centers of various companies, including the fashion and apparel industries” as factors in the decision to come to Columbus.

Columbus Regional Airport Authority CEO Joe Nardone said the new flight is further evidence of Rickenbacker’s advantages that “have translated to success for our forward-thinking logistics partners, which in turn, drives the success of the Columbus region.”

Weekly scheduled flights will continue to operate on Thursdays, with a Moscow-to-Columbus-to-Liege, Belgium route before returning to Moscow. AirBridge flies Boeing 747 freighters with up to a 139-ton capacity.

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