DHL Express plans to phase out its older Boeing 747-400 freighter aircraft, having taken delivery of the first of up to 14 newbuild B777 freighters.
"The delivery of our first B777 F marks an important milestone in our mission to overhaul our intercontinental fleet,” said John Pearson, ceo of DHL Express. The aircraft will strengthen DHL’s intercontinental services and connect major DHL hubs in Cincinnati, Leipzig, Hong Kong and others.
Operated by DHL partner Southern Air, the B777 F, which has a payload of 109 tonnes, will soon start scheduled operations. Another three are scheduled for delivery this year.
Last year, HLPFI reported that the B747 remains a much sought-after aircraft for heavy lift cargo operations. Its nose-loading capability makes it ideal for loading longer pieces into the hold; it is also significantly cheaper to charter than the An-124.
At that time, Boeing said: “We do not see significant demand for the passenger B747-8 … going forward, demand will be on the freighter side.”