Singapore Airlines will begin operating this month a 777 freighter three times per week to the U.S. via South Korea under a multi-aircraft outsourcing contract with DHL Express.
The plane will add capacity on a key trade lane with growing e-commerce volumes and give DHL (DXE: DPW) more flexibility to add new routes and optimize aircraft utilization as market conditions change.
The international parcel delivery giant recently received the factory-built 777 from Boeing and transferred it to Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore Airlines said this week. The freighter is dressed in the dual DHL-Singapore Airlines brand schemes.
In March, DHL Express and Singapore Airlines signed a crew and maintenance agreement to deploy five Boeing 777 freighters operated by SIA pilots. DHL, which has ordered 21 of the twin-engine widebody freighters in recent years and received 16 to date, will provide the aircraft.
DHL Aviation’s international network relies on a combination of owned and partner airlines.
“Singapore Airlines’ expertise in flight operations will enable us to better meet customers’ needs in cross-border commerce, as we leverage the strategic location of our South Asia hub in Singapore,” Robert Hyslop, executive vice president for aviation at DHL Express, said in a news release.
The 777 is popular as a long-haul, heavy-freight aircraft because of its capacity and lower fuel burn than four-engine aircraft. With a payload of 112 tons, it can fly long-range trans-Pacific missions with 20% more payload than older, large freighters like the 747-400.
The second Boeing 777 freighter is scheduled to enter service in November. Both planes will operate a Singapore-Seoul-Los Angeles-Honolulu-Singapore route six times per week. The remaining three freighters are planned for delivery in 2023. The route network will connect through points in North Asia and Australia.