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Singapore Airlines inaugurates 777 freighter service for DHL Express

Partnership covers 5 aircraft working trans-Pacific market

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.

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