Moscow-based carrier, Aviastar-Tu has appointed Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) to handle its new freighter services from eastern Russia to Hong Kong. Aviastar-Tu has commenced operations from Tolmachevo to Hong Kong, utilising a Tupolev Tu-204C freighter aircraft with 28,500kg payload and 14 pallet positions. It plans to increase services to four-times-weekly by the end of 2017: adding an extra frequency from Tolmachevo, and twice weekly flights from Vladivostok. All services are being operated for Russian Post. Hactl is providing a full ramp and terminal handling service for Aviastar-Tu, along with all documentation. The new contract further contributes to Hactl’s already strong performance in 2017: handled tonnage was up 16.6% in the first half year. Says Dmitri Kovalenko, CEO of Aviastar-Tu: “The contract for which we are operating these new flights is an important win for Aviastar-Tu. We are confident that Hactl’s considerable experience in mail handling, and their dedicated Express facilities, will enable us to provide our customer with the highest possible service standards.” Adds Hactl Chief Executive Mark Whitehead: “We are very pleased to welcome Aviastar-Tu to Hong Kong, and to the Hactl carrier community. This is an interesting new contract, as we believe it marks the Tu-204C’s first appearance in Hong Kong.” Launched in 2000, Aviastar-Tu has operated the Tu-204C for a number of major express parcels companies and postal authorities, both in Europe and between Asia and Russia.