AeroLogic, the joint venture cargo airline launched by DHL Express and Lufthansa Cargo, has begun operations.
The airline has taken delivery of its first Boeing 777F aircraft and received the Air Operator Certificate from the German Aviation Authority, and will serve new air routes between Europe and Asia, flying cargo for customers of its parent companies.
The Europe–Asia trade lane has been tipped to grow some five percent annually.
The airline will initially serve the express routes Leipzig – Bahrain – Singapore – Delhi – Leipzig on weekdays and the cargo routes Leipzig – Tashkent – Hong Kong – Tashkent – Leipzig on weekends.
The plan is to expand the network to offer new direct connections most of Asia’s major metropolitan areas by 2010.
AeroLogic will operate with eight leased B777F freighters, the first four of which are expected to be delivered this year.
The B777F features a fuel-saving and environmentally-friendly engine and wing technology, which the companies reckon makes it the most modern wide-body long-range freighters currently available.
It has a maximum payload capacity of 103 tonnes and can fly distances of over 9,000km (5,592m), which enables non-stop flights from AeroLogic’s home base in Leipzig, Germany, to key Asian growth markets, which will help reduce the running time of shipments.
Frank Appel, chief executive of Deutsche Post DHL, said: “In light of an inevitably recovering market, the strengthening of vital trade lanes through the cost-efficient shared use of the most modern freighter aircraft currently available must be viewed as a smart investment.
“We are making available to our customers the most efficient air freight capacity in the market, while at the same time proving that we are serious about our continued commitment to improving the group’s environmental footprint, in line with our GoGreen strategy and the announced 30 per cent carbon efficiency improvement target by 2020.”
Cargo capacities will be marketed individually by the two partners. They are also planning to serve Lufthansa Cargo’s EU-North America routes, as well as the Europe – Asia routes.
The first commercial flight is scheduled for June 29th, 2009.