Singapore Airlines pilots will take charge of five DHL Boeing 777 freighters under a deal between the airline and the global logistics giant. The SQ pilots will operate the freighters on routes to the United States via points in North Asia while Singapore Airlines ground and maintenance crews take care of the planes while they are on the ground.
The deal lets DHL step up its Asia-Pacific services
The agreement marks a further step in DHL Express’ expansion of its intercontinental air network to meet customer demand across the booming air freight market.
“With the deployment of five Boeing 777 freighters, we can expand our express service linking the Asia-Pacific region with the Americas. Following the pandemic, we see good prospects for strong growth in trans-Pacific trade lanes,” says DHL’s Travis Cobb. †By collaborating with Singapore Airlines, we see a unique opportunity to establish a long-lasting relationship with a long-time partner who shares common values and operates at the highest standard.”
The Boeing 777 freighters will sport dual Singapore Airlines/DHL livery. Photo: Singapore Airlines
Five freighters are expected in Singapore by the end of 2023
Eagle-eyed planespotters will easily identify the freighters – they’ll sport a dual DHL-Singapore Airlines livery. The first 777 freighter coming from the partnership will land in Singapore in July, followed by a second in October. The remaining three freighters will arrive next year.
“This new freighter operation will support the fast-growing e-commerce segment, in addition to other key business segments that rely on trusted express services that DHL excels in providing,says Lee Lik Hsin, Executive Vice President Commercial at Singapore Airlines.
“It also provides a foundation on which the partnership between Singapore Airlines and DHL can be further expanded in the future. Basing these freighters at Changi Airport will further reinforce Singapore’s position as a key air cargo and e-commerce logistics hub, contributing to its growth and development.”
The 777 freighters will join Singapore Airlines’ existing freighters, including the incoming A350s (pictured). Photo: Singapore Airlines
While Singapore Airlines struggles to reboot, partner DHL soars
Badly burned by the global travel downturn and still struggling to reboot its international passenger network, Singapore Airlines is increasingly concentrating on its freight operations as a hedge against fluctuations in passenger demand.
The cargo division of the Singapore Airlines Group already operates to more than 90 destinations as part of its current network, which includes a fleet of freighters and the belly-hold space of the SIA and Scoot passenger aircraft. Singapore Airlines recently ordered Airbus A350F freighters as part of its fleet renewal program and says they continue to invest in cargo capabilities, capitalizing on strong demand driven by growth in e-commerce, fresh produce, and pharmaceuticals, among other segments.
“This new agreement guarantees capacity on our critical routes out of Singapore as we gear up for ongoing growth in Asia-Pacific trade. It gives us greater flexibility to add new routes and optimize our aircraft utilization in the face of unpredictable changes or sudden increases in demand,says DHL’s Asia-Pacific boss, Ken Lee.
While Singapore Airlines is busy looking outside its core passenger operations to boost its revenues and bolster the business, DHL is flying high amid a severe air freight capacity shortage and ever-growing increases in global trade volumes. DHL already operates over 320 freighters across a global network of 220 countries and territories.
DHL has also just reported 2021 global revenues of US$91 billion, the highest revenue in the company’s history and a 22.5% increase on 2020’s bumper revenues. DHL’s new agreement with Singapore Airlines is set for more than four years with the opportunity for an extension.
In Photos: The Airbus A380’s Inaugural Passenger Flight
About The Author