DHL Express Launches Passenger-to-Freighter A330-300 in Asia Pacific Region
To service the quickly emerging markets of Hong Kong, Vietnam and Malaysia DHL Express have deployed their first ever Airbus A330-300 into their network, the aircraft has 33% more cargo capacity per flight.
This is the first of four A330-300 aircraft to join the fleet at DHL Express under a new deal with Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) for passenger-to-freighter (P2F) services. The deal is a joint venture between Singapore Technologies Aerospace and Airbus that will fly six times per week.
The Airbus A330-300 has a gross payload of 61 metric tons and is able to offer additional, low-density, higher-volume capacity in the Asia Pacific region. The aircraft will focus on the regional e-commerce markets that accounted for 40% of worldwide global e-commerce sales in 2017.
The conversion from passenger to freight use includes the following upgrades reinforcements to its floor structure, door frame shell and fuselage. Further features include a powered cargo loading system and safety barrier nets.
DHL Express Asia Pacific CEO, Ken Lee said, “E-commerce is expected to generate US$1.365 trillion in total retail sales Asia-wide this year, a number that will more than double to $3 trillion by 2021,”
“The introduction of the passenger-to-freight A330-300 marks a significant step forward in enhancing our service standards to match the evolving needs of our customers, e-commerce merchants and other businesses tapping into intra-Asia trade growth.”
“Rising income levels and Internet access have powered a veritable e-commerce revolution in Asia’s cross-border trade,” said Executive Vice President, Network Operations and Aviation for DHL Express Asia Pacific, Sean Wall
“Yet there’s still immense upside despite the amount of growth so far. The new A330-300s will provide the cost-efficiency and high-volume capacity — carrying more than 20% extra cargo than other mid-range cargo aircraft — needed for businesses to take advantage of these intra-Asian opportunities.”
These deployments are just the latest stage of the company’s continuing strategic investments for their air freight infrastructure. In the future DHL Express have targeted to increase the payload capacity by 50% compared to the current aircraft in service.
Mr. Wall ended with, “As a pioneer in P2F aircraft conversions since 1997, DHL continually looks to bolster the strength of its dedicated air network in the Asia Pacific with a combination of new investments and design innovation,”
“As our maiden A330-300 cargo service arrives in our high-traffic Penang Gateway, we expect many more such services to transform our Asia Pacific network in the near future.”