DHL International is discussing the wet-lease of a small fleet of Airbus A300B4 freighters for its intra-European operations later this year, but is focusing on the Boeing 757/767 for its longer-term plans.
Gordon Olafson, transport director for DHL International Europe, says that the company is looking to add one or two A300s towards the end of 1997, and is discussing the lease with various European freight airlines, including Heavylift Cargo Airlines and Channel Express. "We could take the first two aircraft in October/ November," says Olafson, adding that a further three or four could be required in 1998 to meet growth.
Although DHL's US arm recently announced a major deal with Airbus for seven A300B4 freighters (Flight International, 16-22 April, P8), Olafson does not see the European division necessarily following the same path for its long-term needs. "We are evaluating the A300 along with the Boeing 757/767," says Olafson, who seems to favour the Boeing option for now. "We are examining the acquisition of ex-passenger 767-200s for conversion initially, because of their lower asset value" he says. "We could take larger [secondhand] -300s later."
DHL leases one 757-200PF freighter for its services to the Gulf, and Olafson says that a fleet of ex-passenger 757s, which would offer 767 flightdeck commonality, could be acquired in the longer term.
Source: Flight International