DHL Express will reveal more details about its Boeing 767 transatlantic operation in the coming months, including the shape of its network and the crewing arrangements.?xml:namespace>
The express package carrier placed orders for six General Electric CF6-80C2-powered 767-300Fs in March last year, with deliveries due to begin in 2009.
DHL Express Aviation chief executive Charles Graham says that the order was designed “to secure the capacity” ahead of deciding the network and operation strategy.
Speaking today in Frankfurt during the unveiling of the AeroLogic name and brand with joint venture partner Lufthansa Cargo, Graham said that details of the 767 operation are being finalised.
“We're still evaluating how we will crew the operation,” says Graham. He expects to be in a position to disclose this and details of where the aircraft will operate to in the ?xml:namespace>USA from its European hub in Leipzig, Germany, in the second quarter.
Potential alternatives are to keep the flying in-house, or use one of its associated US carriers - Miami-based partner Astar Air Cargo which operates DHL’s US-based Airbus A300s, Boeing 727s and McDonnell Douglas DC-8s or Polar Air Cargo in which DHL holds a 49% stake.
DHL is in the process of consolidating its European “mega-hub” operations at Leipzig. Flights from Cologne/Bonn airport moved last year and services from its long-standing primary hub at Brussels National Airport will move to Leipzig at the end of March.