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DHL Express, Singapore Airlines Deal Adds Air Freight Capacity

DHL Express has entered into a Crew and Maintenance agreement with Singapore Airlines to deploy five Boeing 777 freighters.

DHL Express said the agreement marks a further step in the expansion of its intercontinental air network to meet customer demand in fast-growing international express shipping markets.

“With the deployment of five Boeing 777 freighters, we can expand our express service linking the Asia Pacific region with the Americas,” said Travis Cobb, executive vice president (EVP) of global network operations and aviation at DHL Express. “Following the pandemic, we see good prospects for strong growth in trans-Pacific trade lanes. By collaborating with Singapore Airlines, we see a unique chance to establish a long-lasting relationship with a long-time partner who shares common values and operates at the highest standard.”

Based at Singapore’s Changi Airport and serving DHL’s South Asia Hub there, the freighters, which will sport a dual DHL-SIA livery, will be operated by Singapore Airlines pilots on routes to the U.S. via points in North Asia. Singapore Airlines will also oversee the maintenance of these aircraft.

The initial agreement is set for more than four years with the opportunity for an extension. As part of the agreement, the first aircraft delivery will be in July, with the second in October. The remaining three aircraft are planned for delivery throughout 2023.

“Today’s agreement builds on and strengthens the long-standing partnership between SIA and DHL,” Lee Lik Hsin, EVP, Commercial, for Singapore Airlines, said. “This new freighter operation will support the fast-growing e-commerce segment, in addition to other key business segments that rely on trusted express services that DHL excels in providing. It also provides a foundation on which the partnership between SIA and DHL can be further expanded in the future. Basing these freighters at Changi Airport will further reinforce Singapore’s position as a key air cargo and e-commerce logistics hub, contributing to its growth and development.”

Ken Lee, CEO DHL Express Asia Pacific, said the agreement guarantees capacity on its critical routes out of Singapore and gives the division greater flexibility to add new routes and optimize aircraft utilization “in the face of unpredictable changes or sudden increases in demand.”

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DHL Express operates some 320 dedicated aircraft across its global network of 220 countries and territories. The Boeing 777 freighters are the world’s largest, longest range and most capable twin-engine freighters that also contribute to DHL’s sustainability goals, reducing CO2 emissions by 18 percent compared to legacy B747-400s.

Sinpapore Airlines’ cargo division operates to more than 90 destinations as part of its current network, which includes a fleet of freighters, as well as the bellyhold space of its own and Scoot passenger aircraft. The airline recently ordered Airbus A350F freighters as part of its fleet renewal program.