• DTS.USA
    5.829
    -0.005
    -0.1%
  • NTI.USA
    2.860
    0.010
    0.4%
  • NTID.USA
    2.820
    -0.040
    -1.4%
  • NTIDL.USA
    1.930
    -0.030
    -1.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    7.990
    0.040
    0.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,810.370
    100.000
    0.8%
  • DTS.USA
    5.829
    -0.005
    -0.1%
  • NTI.USA
    2.860
    0.010
    0.4%
  • NTID.USA
    2.820
    -0.040
    -1.4%
  • NTIDL.USA
    1.930
    -0.030
    -1.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    7.990
    0.040
    0.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    12,810.370
    100.000
    0.8%
Air CargoAmerican ShipperModern ShipperNews

DHL launches intra-European airline to meet e-commerce demand

Austria-based carrier will shuttle packages with fleet of midsize aircraft

DHL Express on Monday launched a new cargo airline to add capacity and faster transit for its cross-border express network in Europe as demand for express package shipments continues to grow.

DHL Air Austria, based at the Vienna airport, will have a fleet of 18 Boeing 757 converted freighters imported from DHL’s former U.K. operation and about 176 pilots, the company said.

The new in-house airline is part of a restructuring within the DHL Aviation organization. Earlier this year, DHL decided to turn its DHL Air UK unit into an international long-haul carrier.

DHL Express has said the new strategy for DHL Air UK, based at East Midlands Airport, is designed to adapt to the fast-changing shipping environment. The airline will increase flights between the U.K., the Americas and Asia by adding more midsize 767s and introducing large 777 freighters. Officials said the remodeled airline is expected to begin 777 operations in early 2022.

DHL Aviation is a division of DHL Express, part of Bonn, Germany-based Deutsche Post DHL, that provides air transport capacity for the company’s parcel business. It’s an umbrella organization for several airlines owned, co-owned or chartered by DHL Express. DHL Aviation also makes its network available to logistics companies that need airport-to-airport moves, which increases efficiency by helping fill planes or utilizing them when they are between shuttle assignments for the express network.

Cross-border e-commerce is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.4% through 2026, according to an October study by California-based AllTheResearch. The market was valued at $578.6 billion in 2019.

DHL Air Austria received its air operator certificate on Oct. 18 from Austrian authorities and subsequently registered three aircraft in the country. The remaining 15 aircraft will be registered under its license and added to the fleet during the first quarter of 2021, according to DHL.

The inaugural flight for the in-house airline arrived at the Vienna airport Monday for a celebration that included government officials.

DHL officials said they selected Austria as the new airline’s base of operation because of its central geographic location, stable political climate and aviation regulatory regime. DHL Air Austria was able to complete all necessary procedures for establishing a new airline in nine months.

Deutsche Post DHL (OTCUS: DPSGY)  posted very strong third-quarter results last week, with revenue up 23.5% to $23.1 billion, operating profit up 28.6% to nearly $2.1 billion and operating margins increasing to 8.8% from 8.5%.

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.

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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 ekulisch@freightwaves.com