DHL spends EUR 100m on three new aircraft in Asia

DHL has invested EUR 100m by adding three Boeing 747-400 Converted Freighters (BCFs) to its air network in Asia, in its latest move to bolster its portfolio across the region. In a joint venture between Cathay Pacific and DHL, the three aircraft will be operated by Air Hong Kong. With a payload of 100 tonnes each aircraft will service three high capacity routes six days a week: Tokyo-Hong Kong, Singapore-Hong Kong, and Shanghai-Hong Kong.

A DHL spokesperson said: “Currently, two A300-600 General Freighters (GFs) each with a 45-tonne payload, ply direct routes between Tokyo-Hong Kong and Shanghai-Hong Kong. By September 2011, these two A300-600GFs will be redeployed to service five weekly services between Beijing-Hong Kong and Manila-Hong Kong, replacing two 24-tonne B727-200Fs planes which will be retired.”

The latest investment comes as DHL looks to exploit the rapidly growing parcels market across Asia.

An additional daily intercontinental route from Hong Kong to Cincinnati was launched on 31 May as a direct response to increasing demands for services from South China and Hong Kong to North America. The company also revealed last month that it is building a North Asia Hub at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, due to be completed in early 2012.

Furthermore, Post&Parcel reported earlier this week that DHL had thrown its weight behind the bid to build a third runway at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), stating the development is “crucial to meeting the territory’s future need for cargo capacity and stay economically competitive”.

Jerry Hsu, CEO of DHL Express Asia Pacific, said: “The EUR 100m investment in three B747-400 BCFs – the biggest freighter aircraft in service – increases our capacity, connectivity and service reliability. It is a significant step up for DHL’s Asia Air Network.

“By being close to our customers – understanding what they need, recognising the opportunities and being prepared to make strategic investments – we’ll continue to grow our market share and deliver best-in-class services for our industry.

“We continue to see significant potential in Asia Pacific. We have been operating in the region for over 40 years, having pioneered the international Express industry across many cities. With significant infrastructural assets and our continued investment, we constantly raise the bar to become the provider of choice to our customers,” concluded Hsu.

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