Newly converted Boeing aircraft offers 30% increase in gross payload for customers in Bangkok, Hanoi and Hong Kong
The new aircraft offers a total gross payload of close to 140 tons weekly and has a flight frequency of six times a week
Expanded airfreight capacity will support growth in cross-border trade and e-commerce sales within Asia Pacific
International express service provider DHL Express has expanded its airfreight capacity within Asia by deploying a newly converted B737-800 freighter as it anticipates rising orders in line with the upcoming e-commerce peak season.
The new aircraft, operated by DHL’s partner K-Mile Asia, offers a total gross payload of close to 140 tons weekly and will travel six times a week from Hanoi to Hong Kong and Bangkok before returning to Hanoi, the company said in a release.
This is a 30% increase in capacity carried previously by the Boeing B737-400SF freighter, enabling the company to better prepare and respond to the anticipated growth in shipment volumes in the coming months.
The expanded capacity and increased flight frequency from five to six times per week will translate to quicker deliveries and shorter transit times for the benefit of businesses and consumers from Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong, the company said.
The new B737-800 aircraft connecting Bangkok, Hong Kong and Hanoi joins three other aircraft in the fleet that concurrently and collectively serve Hong Kong, Phnom Penh, Singapore and Jakarta. It is also part of DHL Express’ commitment to bolster its Asia Pacific network by investing close to EUR60 million to introduce new aircraft and direct routes.
Economic growth in Asia Pacific has shown signs of rebound and is set to continue, driven in part by a progressive rollout of COVID-19 vaccines across the region, the company said. Exports are also forecast to grow at a rapid pace, as a result of stronger supply chain networks and ASEAN policy initiatives, such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), that promote regional economic integration.
In addition, Asia Pacific’s e-commerce sales are showing no signs of slowing down—reaching US$2 trillion by 2025—as mobile connectivity and a digital-savvy demographic propel digital adoption.
Almost 75% of online shoppers in Hong Kong and 50% in Thailand have made purchases on overseas platforms. Similarly, Vietnam has also seen an acceleration in cross-border e-commerce activities.
Sean Wall, executive vice president for network operations and aviation of DHL Express Asia Pacific, said that to tackle this surge in demand, the company has been actively enhancing its fleet, including by converting suitable passenger aircraft.
Image courtesy of DHL