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Leading lights - Sergey Lazarev

Airline Cargo Management speaks with Sergey Lazarev, General Director, AirBridgeCargo Airlines

Following his graduation from Samara State Aerospace University in Russia with a specialty in radio engineering, Sergey joined Orenburg Airlines in 1994 as a Technical Control Engineer, and held various positions within the company up to First Deputy General Director.

During this time, he also studied finance and credit at Orenburg State University.

In 2013, he joined Volga-Dnepr Group as Operations Director of AirBridgeCargo Airlines, and within two years he was appointed as General Director.


What does a typical day in your job entail?


Being General Director in one of the leading air cargo carriers – with an extensive international network and multinational offices in different parts of the world – first of all means that I need to be here and there for my team 24/7/365 (and even 366 in leap years) in order to take prompt actions in situations as needed. I am based at our Moscow HQ and my day starts with a cup of strong coffee! In this way I get ready for another productive day, go through the list of to-do tasks, meetings and company documents. Overseeing the operational and financial performance of the company involves participation in meetings with my team, analysis of problematic situations, and provision of the most effective solutions in the interests of our customers. Reports from my colleagues in the regions help me stay tuned and keep track of everything that happens in the company, be it in Chicago, Shanghai, Paris or up in the air. The doors of my office are always open for my colleagues and I am ready to support them by being reachable physically, by phone or via email.


Of course, this is my typical day in Moscow, but my position presupposes business travel and meetings with customers, partners and ABC teams around the world to discuss current and future development plans in order to achieve the strategic goals of the company.


How would you sum up the performance at AirBridgeCargo in 2017?


2017 has been a good year for the industry, with AirBridgeCargo being no exception. It started with two-digit growth rates transforming into a massive peak season in the last three months of the year. We continued solidifying our tonnage growth with more than 700,000 tonnes of cargo carried for the whole of 2017 – 13% up YOY. There was an upsurge in all major markets of ABC’s footprint. ABC’s load factor inched 4% up YOY, reaching 71%. I attribute this growth to the successful realisation of our fleet expansion strategy, the development of special cargoes solutions and the introduction of new destinations. The combination of these business steps, bolstered by effective work from our high-end specialists made it possible for ABC to continue its momentum.


In which trade lanes are you seeing the most significant growth and why?


Throughout 2017 we have pumped up the volume of the cargo carried, which was facilitated by increasing bi-directional trade flows on the Europe-Asia lane, where exports from Europe to Asia were nearing the level of volumes from Asia to Europe. The freight corridors, which demonstrated significant growth rates for this period were Southeast Asia-North America, Southeast Asia-Europe, Europe-Japan-Korea and Europe-the Americas, which saw 52%, 44%, 35% and 36% increases respectively, not only for general cargo, but for special commodities as well. Some lanes stood out in terms of special cargo transportation demand, specifically the main markets from Europe to North America for automotive spare parts and aerospace equipment from Southeast Asia to North America. Apart from market recovery and economic upturn, a major part of ABC’s growth is down to the refinement of our sales structure. During the year we continued the development of our centralised sales structure, complimented by regional expertise, instead of relying on a GSA network in the regions of ABC’s footprint and transforming it into a competitive advantage of being available 24/7 and ready to cater for our customers’ needs. >>


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