Southern Air Holdings today has taken ownership of its fourth B777 freight at Boeing’s headquarters in Everett, Wash.
Southern Air is the only ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) operator to fly the B777 freighter, enabling it to serve customers with fewer stops, shorter cargo delivery times and lower handling costs. These freighters offer the most cargo capacity and longest flight times in the industry, making it possible to connect intercontinental markets overnight. Southern Air has been flying these all-cargo planes since 2010.
The new plane will be immediately put to service for DHL Express on its new round-the-world service from Hong Kong to Los Angeles to Leipzig, Germany and back to Hong Kong. The new route reduces shipping time from Asia-Pacific and the U.S. West Coast to one day and extends cargo pick-up times for U.S. suppliers shipping to Europe. Southern Air's third B777 freighter began flying this route earlier this month, and its first two have flown the Cincinnati-Bahrain-Hong Kong route for DHL since September 2011.
During the past two years, Southern Air has transformed itself from a pure B747-200 airline with an average fleet age of 33 years to a highly reliable, fuel efficient fleet of B777 and B747S freighters, with plans to introduce several B747-400 factory freighters by 2013. By the end of next year, the company is targeting an average fleet age of less than seven years. In total, Southern Air's fleet currently includes 14 B777s and B747s designed for global long-haul cargo shipments.