Shake up at DHL Express’ European airlines

By Damian Brett

DHL Express is launching a new airline in Europe and focusing its UK carrier on international operations through the addition of B777Fs.

The express giant plans to launch a new cargo airline based in Austria and is in the process of filing applications with the Austrian authorities.

The Austrian airline, which DHL hopes to launch later this year, will operate using Boeing 757 freighter aircraft transferred over from its DHL Air UK business.

Meanwhile, the East Midlands Airport-based UK airline will then develop a new role as an intercontinental airline, expanding its B767 operations and adding new B777Fs into its fleet.

DHL said the move comes in response to growing e-commerce demand, with first quarter 2021 Time Definite International shipments (TDI) increasing by more than 25% compared with a year earlier.

“To respond to this growth and to continue offering its customers fastest transit times for their cross-border deliveries, DHL Express is remodeling its East Midlands based airline, DHL Air UK,” the company explained in a press release.

“Focusing on intercontinental services, DHL Air UK will increase flights between the UK, the Americas region and Asia. In this context, the fleet will be expanded by adding more B767s and introducing new B777F aircraft. The plan is for DHL Air UK to commence its B777 operations in early 2022.”

Tom Mackle, managing director at DHL Air UK, said: “The UK has always been a crucial gateway to the world. With an increasing demand in international time definite deliveries this is today more valid than ever.”

Roy Hughes, executive vice president network operations Europe at DHL Express, added: “By expanding our airline platform, we are not just adapting to changing regulations, but also preparing our European network for further growth.

“To meet the high demand of our customers for cross-border Express deliveries we take these measures to continue providing them with sufficient Express capacity. With the planned structure, we will achieve both, a flexible and even more resilient airline network in Europe and a better global integration by increasing our intercontinental flights.”

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