Russia’s AirBrdge Cargo has signed an interline agreement with Continental Airlines and, in a separate move, appointed GSA partners in key cities across the United States to begin growing its presence in America ahead of the anticipated launch of its own Boeing 747 freighter services in 2007.

The agreement with Continental Airlines supports the ambitions of both airlines. The US airline has stated its plans to enter the Russian market while AirBridge expects the Houston-based airline to provide an important link into its network, notably for the movement of oil and gas equipment from Texas to Sakhalin Island off the coast of Russia.

ABC operates two IL-76 freighters a week from its hub in Krasnoyarsk to serve Sakhalin’s booming oil and gas industry and has now opened its own office on the island to manage its services and future development.

To increase its sales presence, ABC, which also has an interline agreement with EL AL Cargo in New York on the North Atlantic sector to Europe, has appointed Platinum Air Cargo has its general sales agent in Houston, Dallas and Washington while Heavy-weight Air Express will represent AirBridge in New York and Chicago.