05/25/2021, 11:00 AM CEST

DHL Express strengthens its aviation network and will launch a new airline for the European market

Representing a new milestone of the Strategy 2025, the changes make way for continued growing demand for DHL Express' international services.

DHL Planes at Linz Airport

  • New company will be located in Austria and operate mainly European cargo flights
  • Current airline DHL Air UK to be evolved into intercontinental carrier 
  • New network structure supports further capacity growth and operational resilience

Bonn - Today, DHL Express announced its new roadmap for the future set-up of its European aviation network. Representing a new milestone of the Strategy 2025, the changes make way for continued growing demand for DHL Express' international services. In a first step, DHL Express intends to set up a new cargo airline in Austria. DHL is in the process of filing applications with the Austrian authorities. Subject to approval of those applications, the aim is for the new airline to be established and operational later this year. It will operate intra-European flight services, using a fleet of B757 freighter aircraft which are to be transferred from DHL Air UK. In turn, DHL Air UK will develop into its new role as an intercontinental airline, expanding its B767 operations and adding new B777Fs into its fleet. With these steps, DHL Express will strengthen its air network platform, ensuring flexible and resilient air cargo capacity to support its customers' increasing express shipping needs.

"By expanding our airline platform, we are not just adapting to changing regulations, but also preparing our European network for further growth", explains Roy Hughes, EVP Network Operations Europe at DHL Express. "To meet the high demand of our customers for cross-border Express deliveries we take these measures to continue providing them with sufficient Express capacity. With the planned structure, we will achieve both, a flexible and even more resilient airline network in Europe and a better global integration by increasing our intercontinental flights."

DHL Express recently reported its strongest quarter in its over 50 year company history. Driven by the worldwide E-commerce boom, the company was able to increase the volume of its Time Definite International shipments (TDI) by more than 25% compared to the first quarter of 2020. Looking forward, further E-commerce growth is expected due to accelerating digitalization of the B2B sector and a significant increase of business purchases on online platforms, resulting in boosting demand for international express shipments. 

To respond to this growth and to continue offering its customers fastest transit times for their cross-border deliveries, DHL Express is remodeling its East Midlands based airline, DHL Air UK. Focusing on intercontinental services, DHL Air UK will increase flights between the UK, the Americas region and Asia. In this context, the fleet will be expanded by adding more B767s and introducing new B777F aircraft. The plan is for DHL Air UK to commence its B777 operations in early 2022.

"The United Kingdom has always been a crucial gateway to the world. With an increasing demand in international time definite deliveries this is today more valid than ever", explains Tom Mackle, Managing Director at DHL Air UK. "The expansion of our intercontinental Express fleet in the UK by adding new B777s, the most modern and efficient freight aircraft, underlines our engagement and our commitment to meet changing customer needs, to continuously deliver excellent services and to also improve our carbon emissions footprint."

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