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DHL to grow fleet with Boeing 777s

By control on September 8, 2011

DHL Express and Southern Air Holdings have inked a multi-year deal enabling Southern Air to operate three Boeing 777s on behalf of DHL. The freighters, which are lauded for their fuel-efficiency, will be utilized on DHL’s U.S., Asian and Middle Eastern routes.

The first freighter entered DHL’s fleet in August and is currently being used to link the express mail provider’s Cincinnati, Bahrain and Hong Kong hubs. Southern Air officials anticipate acquiring the subsequent 777s in March or April 2012, operating them on DHL routes immediately. The addition of these three aircraft brings the total number of Boeing 777s in DHL’s fleet to 11.

To DHL executives, the benefits of this acquisition are multiple: In addition to burning 20-percent to 25 percent-less fuel, the aircraft offer a higher payload and slash transit times.

It’s the latter merit that DHL Express Executive Vice President of Global Network Operations Charlie Dobbie cites. “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,” he said in a statement.

“Additionally, for the express services from Canada, Latin America and the U.S., provided through our hub in Cincinnati to the Middle East via Bahrain, we are able to shorten transit times considerably, by as much as one full day,” Dobbie continued. It’s an advantage that will especially benefit DHL’s clients serving the oil and gas, technology and communications sectors, he said.

DHL and its customers aren’t the only entities benefiting from this deal, however. Southern Air officials said operating the 777s also fits it with their plan to provide clients with more sustainable airfreight solutions.

“The Boeing 777s are the largest, most capable twin-engine freighters in the world, and we are thrilled to be flying these premium aircraft on DHL’s behalf,” Southern Air CEO Daniel McHugh said in a statement. After all, he said, “Southern Air strives to provide its growing, blue-chip client base with reliable, efficient, flexible solutions that best suit their needs.”

Southern Air, which currently operates four 777s, is “actively looking” to increase the number of freighters in its fleet, a company spokesman revealed.

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