British Airways in Euro air link with DHL
DHL will operate a short-haul freighter service between London and key European destinations for British Airways World Cargo, BA announced Thursday.
The daily 757 service, which begins Friday, will boost by 50 percent the number of containers and pallets that BA can fly from continental Europe to London, said BA spokesman James Healy. DHL previously operated an Airbus freighter nightly from its hub in Brussels to London’s Heathrow Airport. That freighter connected with DHL feeder flights around the continent.
British Airways will take the entire capacity on the 757s, which can hold 14 standard-size pallets or containers. BA described the new service as a significant improvement, allowing it to offer customers faster connections and increased capacity on several key routes.
DHL will operate 20 flights a week between London and key European hubs in Frankfurt, Bergamo (Milan), Brussels, Amsterdam, Munich, Paris and Hamburg, with a new connection to and from Dublin.
British Airways, which operates at all three London airports, will initially use Heathrow for the service, but it could switch to either Gatwick or Stansted. That determination will be made in the next several weeks, Healy said.
The DHL freighters will replace truck services between London and Amsterdam, Dublin, Paris and Brussels. Overall, however, the freighters will complement BA’s European trucking network, the spokesman said.
The freighter service will also connect with BA’s longhaul network.
Inbound DHL freighter flights arriving at London in the evening will connect to BA’s global network the following day. BA said it will be able to offer a same-day service on key routes with flights that arrive at the hub during the morning prior to connections to late afternoon and early evening flights. Flights into mainland Europe will provide crucial links with markets in the United States and Asia-Pacific regions.
A streamlined security process will also speed transfers of cargo at BA’s hub in London.
“The 757-freighter program will give us a reliable and consistent operation and will provide real advantages over the alternative option of trucking freight. Europe continues to be a challenging trading environment but we are confident that, by working in partnership with DHL, we can deliver more for our customers,” said Tony Nothman, BA’s regional vice president for the UK, Europe and Africa.
Bob Dahl, a consultant with the Air Cargo Management Group in Seattle, said the service will enable DHL to obtain greater utilization of the 757 freighters, which are converted passenger planes previously owned by British Airways. The 757s operated by DHL can carry up to 65,000 pounds of freight, Dahl said.
DHL operates a blocked-space service for Lufthansa Cargo from the German carrier’s hub in Frankfurt.
British Airways operates 212 passenger flights a week between London and European cities, but most of those are narrowbody aircraft with relatively little cargo space.