Singapore Airlines, DHL Express Commence 777F Partnership

Credit: Singapore Airlines

SINGAPORE—DHL Express has received its first Boeing 777F, which will be operated by Singapore Airlines (SIA) from Changi Airport, beginning a four-year partnership that will also see SIA provide maintenance for the aircraft. 

DHL Express and SIA signed an agreement in March that will see DHL deploy five 777Fs—flown by SIA crew—to Singapore. The first aircraft will enter into service in August, flying a 3X-weekly Singapore–Incheon–Los Angeles–Honolulu–Singapore route. That service will double to 6X-weekly following the delivery of the second aircraft in November. The remaining three 777Fs will be handed over by end-2023, eventually flying between the U.S. and Singapore via points in Australia and North Asia. 

“Air cargo ... plays a vital role in keeping global supply chains open,” SIA EVP commercial Lee Like Hsin said. “Apart from supporting the fast-growing e-commerce segment, this new freighter operation provides a foundation to expand the partnership between SIA and DHL in the future.”

While SIA’s passenger numbers continue to skyrocket, the additional bellyhold capacity is putting pressure on its cargo operations, as evidenced in SIA’s July figures. While SIA’s July capacity increased 38.3% year-on-year (YOY), freight demand slid 4%, resulting in a 26.7 YOY percentage point decline in SIA’s cargo load factor. 

SIA’s passenger numbers in July crossed two million for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In July, SIA Group’s passenger demand, as measured in RPKs, grew 1,016% YOY while the group’s capacity more than doubled compared to July 2021.

Chen Chuanren

Chen Chuanren is the Southeast Asia and China Editor for the Aviation Week Network’s (AWN) Air Transport World (ATW) and the Asia-Pacific Defense Correspondent for AWN, joining the team in 2017.