|Photo by: DHL|
|Photo by: DHL|
- The Penang-Ho Chi Minh-Hong Kong flight will bear 33% more load capacity per flight that runs 6 times a week
- DHL Express to deploy at least three more A330-300s as regional and global e-commerce volumes grow
SINGAPORE: DHL Express, the world's leading international express services provider, has deployed its first ever Airbus A330-300 in its air network, servicing the fast-growing markets of Malaysia, Vietnam, and Hong Kong with 33% more freight capacity per flight.
The aircraft is the first of four A330-300s to join the DHL Express fleet under a new passenger-to-freighter (P2F) deal with Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), a joint venture between Airbus and Singapore Technologies Aerospace, flying six times a week.
DHL Express launches inaugural passenger-to-freighter A330-300 as part of rapidly-growing Asia Pacific air network
With a gross payload of 61 metric tons, the A330-300 will provide additional high-volume, lower-density capacity in Asia Pacific, catering specifically to regional e-commerce activity which, in 2017, accounted for 40% of global e-commerce sales.
Following its conversion from passenger to freight use, the A330-300s feature a range of upgrades including reinforcements to its fuselage, floor structure, and door frame shell; newly-installed safety barrier nets; and a powered cargo loading system.
"E-commerce is expected to generate US$1.365 trillion in total retail sales Asia-wide this year, a number that will more than double to $3 trillion by 2021," said Ken Lee, CEO, DHL Express Asia Pacific.
"The introduction of the passenger-to-freight A330-300 marks a significant step forward in enhancing our service standards to match the evolving needs of our customers, e-commerce merchants and other businesses tapping into intra-Asia trade growth."
The first A330-300 will serve markets with particularly high e-commerce trade volumes, including Malaysia with a compound annual growth rate of nearly 18% from now to 2022; and Vietnam, where the local e-commerce market is growing at 35% per annum.
Subsequent A330-300s slated for deployment later this year will also focus on intra-Asia connections as the region's middle-class -- and its consumption rates -- continues to expand. 
"Rising income levels and Internet access have powered a veritable e-commerce revolution in Asia's cross-border trade," said Sean Wall, Executive Vice President, Network Operations and Aviation, DHL Express Asia Pacific.
"Yet there's still immense upside despite the amount of growth so far. The new A330-300s will provide the cost-efficiency and high-volume capacity -- carrying more than 20% extra cargo than other mid-range cargo aircraft -- needed for businesses to take advantage of these intra-Asian opportunities."
The A330-300 deployments form the latest stage of DHL Express' ongoing investments in its air freight infrastructure, with future planned deployments of the A330-300s aiming to increase payload capacity by up to 50% compared to current aircraft.
"As a pioneer in P2F aircraft conversions since 1997, DHL continually looks to bolster the strength of its dedicated air network in Asia Pacific with a combination of new investments and design innovation," Wall said.
"As our maiden A330-300 cargo service arrives in our high-traffic Penang Gateway, we expect many more such services to transform our Asia Pacific network in the near future."
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