Watch Now

DHL adds flight from LA to UK hub

Airbridge Cargo is operating a weekly flight from Hong Kong to East Midlands Airport for DHL. (Photo: East Midlands Airport)

DHL Express this weekend will launch a weekly freighter flight from Los Angeles International Airport to its U.K. hub at East Midlands Airport, in response to rising demand for e-commerce shipments and the lost airlift associated with the widespread grounding of passenger fleets due to the coronavirus.

A spokesman confirmed the start date to FreightWaves and said the route, which originates at Leipzig/Halle Airport in Germany, will be operated with a Boeing 777 aircraft. 

East Midlands is second only to London Heathrow in terms of annual cargo volume among U.K. airports and has continued to see 60% of its scheduled traffic because of its high concentration of all-cargo activity. In addition to DHL, UPS, FedEx/TNT and Royal Mail have operations at the airport. Retail giant Amazon, which has a fulfillment center near the airport, also operates several daily flights. East Midlands’ central location means about 90% of the country’s population can be reached by a four-hour truck drive.

DHL two weeks ago inaugurated a weekly flight from Hong Kong to East Midlands, via Moscow, with a Boeing 747-8 production freighter flown under contract by Airbridge Cargo, according to DHL and the airport authority. The flights, which depart on Fridays, have 130 tons of capacity for time-critical products such as medical and industrial supplies and consumer online purchases.

DHL also recently introduced a weekly flight from Miami to East Midlands and a new route from New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to East Midlands.

All the flights are operated by partner airlines and, with the exception of Hong Kong, represent a combination of previously existing routes, the spokesman said.

On Monday, Israel Aircraft Industries said it would convert three Boeing 767 passenger planes into freighters for DHL. 

(Click here for more articles by Eric Kulisch:,)

Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government coverage and news analysis, and was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. Eric is based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached for comments and tips at [email protected]