DHL will add three Boeing 777 freighters, through an agreement with Southern Air Holdings, that will expand the integrated carrier's capacity and boost transit times along key growing trade routes between the Americas, Asia and the Middle East.
The first B777 freighter, which began service on Aug. 15, connects DHL hubs in Cincinnati, Bahrain and Hong Kong, moving around the world with each operation. The B777 freighter is expected to burn around 20 percent to 25 percent less fuel on this routing, allowing more markets to be served non-stop. DHL already has eight B777 freighters in its fleet.
"The agreement with Southern Air is another important building block to further upgrade our international air express network,' said Charlie Dobbie, executive vice president for global network operations at DHL Express. 'With this additional new round-the-world service, our customers have the benefit of later pickup times for next day deliveries in the U.S., Canada and wider areas in the Americas region.'
Under the new agreement, Southern Air will operate the three B777 freighters on behalf of DHL Express. The B777 freighter that has begun service for DHL Express is one of two 777s that Southern Air already flies. Southern Air expects to take delivery of two additional B777s earmarked for use by DHL Express in March-April 2012 and then introduce them into the DHL network.
With the new planes, Southern Air will operate four B777 freighters and plans to add more of this plane to its fleet. The B777s complement Southern Air's fleet of 11 747-200s.