DHL Express has entered a crew and maintenance agreement with Singapore Airlines (SIA) to deploy five Boeing 777 freighters, expanding the delivery service’s air network for international express shipments, the two companies said in a statement filed to SGX Thursday.
The freighters, which will be dual branded for DHL and SIA, will be operated by SIA pilots on routes to the U.S. via points in North Asia, the filing said, noting SIA will oversee aircraft maintenance.
The agreement is initially set to run for four years, with the possibility it will be extended, the filing said. The first aircraft delivery is set for July, with the second in October, and the remaining three aircraft are planned for delivery in 2023, the filing said.
Lee Lik Hsin, executive vice president for commercial at SIA, said in the statement: “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. It also provides a foundation on which the partnership between SIA and DHL can be further expanded.”
Travis Cobb, executive vice president for global network operations and aviation at DHL Express, said the deployment of the freighters will expand his company’s express service linking Asia Pacific with the Americas.
“Following the pandemic, we see good prospects for strong growth in trans-Pacific trade lanes,” Cobb said in the statement.
Ken Lee, CEO for DHL Express Asia Pacific, added that the agreement would guarantee capacity on critical routes out of Singapore, and would provide more flexibility to add new routes and optomise aircraft utilisation amid unpredictable demand changes.