Volga-Dnepr Airlines has operated its first flight for Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) organisation, moving the SaudiSat-4 satellite made in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to its launch site in Orsk, Russia.

The flight was operated onboard one of the airline’s IL-76TD-90VD freighter aircraft from Riyadh with an intermediate stop in Ulyanovsk, Volga-Dnepr’s ‘hometown’, where the cargo passed through the required customs procedures.

The delivery was organised on behalf of the KACST organisation, which is responsible for the promotion of science and technology in Saudi Arabia. The organisation made use of Volga-Dnepr Group’s services for the first time to benefit from Volga-Dnepr’s experience of operating more than 3,500 flights over the last 23 years carrying aerospace cargoes. The satellite was accompanied on its journey to the Yasny Spaceport by Faisal Alaqeel, project manager at KACST, who travelled to Russia onboard the IL-76TD-90VD. Mr. Alaqeel visited Ulyanovsk and Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ office, including its global Flight Operations Control Centre and Training Centre, which houses Russia’s only An-124-100 full flight simulator. Mr. Alaqeel expressed his gratitude to the Volga-Dnepr team and said he hoped there will be opportunities for future cooperation.

The precision navigation satellite system is due to be launched this summer and will conduct scientific experiments. The launch of the satellite is part of a long-term strategic plan up to 2025 adopted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the field of space technology research.