DHL announced today moves to further strength its intercontinental air network with the addition of a new round-the-world flight connecting the US, Asia and Europe.
The new Boeing 777 flight will begin operations from next week (27 March), connecting Hong Kong and Los Angeles to the company’s hub in Germany.
The flight will leave Hong Kong after the site’s hub sort, carrying Asia Pacific items for next-day delivery across the West Coast and parts of Canada. For customers across the Asia Pacific region, transit times should improve by as much as a day even down to Latin America.
From Los Angeles, the flight continues direct to Leipzig in Germany.
DHL said the new route would mean customers in Western US cities would be able to order a pick-up from a DHL courier up to three hours later for their European shipments.
The flight then returns from Leipzig to Hong Kong, offering “significant” extra capacity for DHL between Europe and Asia.
Charlie Dobbie, the DHL Express EVP for Global Network Operations, said the new flight meant a “quantum leap” in service quality.
“All in all, it adds capacity, radically improves our market transit times, and improves efficiency and CO2 at the same time,” he said.
The extra efficiency and carbon emissions benefits for the new flight will come because DHL is to use a Boeing 777 freighter for the new route, which is expected to burn 20-25% less fuel than equivalent intercontinental aircraft, while increasing payload.
The freighter is part of an existing partnership with airline operator Southern Air to operate three 777s between the Americas, Asia and Europe/Middle East, which has already started with a B777 service linking Hong Kong with Cincinnati and Bahrain.
Jerry Hsu, the DHL Express Asia Pacific CEO, said the extra capacity for the Asia to US route would benefit customers in places like Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and the Philippines, and particularly those in China.
“In the last year or so, our business between the US and China has grown tremendously – double-digit – and I think we need to add more capacity to meet customers’ requirement,” he said.
Stephen Fenwick, the CEO of DHL Express Americas said customers across the Americas would appreciate the investment in terms of access from Asia, and access into Europe.
“I think this service is a game-changer, because I’m sure people will have to follow us, because we’ll take that business off them,” he said. “The message to our customers is that we understand your business, we’re here to service it, and we’re here to do better.”