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WASHINGTON, DC: May 23, 2018. The US Department of Transportation (DoT) has issued an order to Russian airlines AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), Aeroflot and JSC Yakutia to file their US schedules within seven days to determine whether their operations are unlawful or against the public interest.

The DoT says the request is a response to the Russian government’s refusal to grant US carriers overflight rights as provided under a 1994 agreement between the two countries.

While both sides have adhered to the “comity and reciprocity” of the agreement since 2001, for the summer 2018 traffic season Russia unilaterally announced US freighter operators would have to use a longer flight corridor to and from Asia.

ABC MaseratiAs a result, says the DoT, US airlines are now experiencing “significant” disruption to all-cargo services between Europe and Asia, with the added time and associated costs threatening their future viability and jeopardizing slot access at Asia’s and Europe’s busiest airports.

According to the DoT order, the US has been trying to update the US/Russia bilateral agreement with the latest discussions scheduled for April 18-19 in Washington, DC. Twelve days prior to the meeting, Russia cancelled and responded on April 26 saying it had the right to alter the route.

The three Russian airlines are now required to file all their existing service schedules including codeshare, common branding and extra sections, between any US or non-US point including type of equipment used, frequency and days of operation, airports served and time of arrival and departure.

With its hub in Moscow, ABC operates to 11 destinations in Europe, five in Russia and the CIS and 11 in Asia plus six in the US: Anchorage, Los Angeles, Dallas Fort Worth, Chicago, Columbus, and Atlanta. The airline reported a 13 percent increase in uplift last year to over 700,000 tonnes with an average 71 percent load factor.

On April 05, ABC began a weekly B747 freighter service from Moscow to its latest US destination Columbus, OH with a return via Liege, Belgium.

Pictured: Last October Maserati chartered an ABC freighter for the launch of its MY18 Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabrio cars in Japan. The car company used a hangar at Narita to unload 28 cars from Europe for both the launch and delivery to invited customers.

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