Lufthansa Cargo and DHL Express’ new joint-venture carrier AeroLogic, which disclosed its name and branding today, aims to launch operations with its first two Boeing 777Fs in April next year, initially on flights to Hong Kong.
Aerologic, which will be based at DHL's new hub in Leipzig, Germany, will ramp its 777F fleet up to 11 by 2011.
The company is a 50:50 joint venture and will operate weekday express flights mainly to Asia for DHL, and switch to general cargo operations for Lufthansa Cargo at weekends.
AeroLogic says that 74% of its block hours will be flown for DHL and the remaining 26% for Lufthansa Cargo.
“The current plan is for Hong Kong to be the first destination,” said Lufthansa Cargo chief executive Carsten Spohr, speaking during a formal unveiling today, although he cautioned that this plan could change.
The first eight 777Fs are being taken on 10-year operating lease from Deucalion, an investment fund owned by DVB bank, says DHL Express Aviation chief executive Charles Graham.
“We'll be looking to finalise the sourcing of the remaining three aircraft around 12 months from now,” he adds.
AeroLogic will take its first 777F in February next year with a second arriving in April. Two more 777Fs will be delivered the following October and November. A second batch of four will arrive in 2010, two in 2011 and a final one in 2012 which will act as a reserve aircraft.
Spohr says that the introduction of the 777Fs will enable seven Lufthansa Cargo Boeing MD-11Fs, currently flying from Leipzig, to be progressively released.
“We'll move these aircraft back to our Frankfurt hub to give us a fleet of 19 MD-11Fs. By 2010 all the MD-11Fs will be back at Frankfurt,” he says.
AeroLogic has €50 million ($74 million) in start-up capital and turnover will grow from less than €100 million in the first year to more than €550 million in 2011, says the company's joint managing director Thomas Pusch. "We expect break even in 2010," he adds.
Source: flightglobal.com's sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news