Boeing on Wednesday secured its second freighter order in as many days as DHL Express signed a deal to buy eight more 777Fs. The contract, which calls for first delivery next year and includes options on another four of the widebodies, marks another step in DHL’s intercontinental network expansion as the wider air cargo business struggles to keep up with capacity demands created by a loss of belly space in passenger airliners during the Covid-19 crisis.
“We remain optimistic about our growth prospects underscored by the e-commerce boom and as globalization continues to assert its strength and relevance,” said Ken Lee, CEO of DHL Express Asia Pacific. “In addition to bolstering the approximately €60 million that we have committed to boost our air network in Asia-Pacific from 2020 to 2022, this continued aviation investment will equally help to ensure that we have the safest and fastest deliveries in the industry as we assist with the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to countries all over Asia.”
DHL Express has already taken delivery of the first 10 new B777Fs out of an original order for 14 aircraft placed in 2018.
The latest sale provides another major boost for Boeing, which earlier in the week secured a firm order for four 747-8Fs from Atlas Air.
Boeing's 2020 World Air Cargo Forecast anticipates fleet growth of 60 percent over the next 20 years.
"Although the current health crisis has pushed pause on several areas of life, global trade did not stand still," said DHL Express CEO John Pearson. "Fueled by globalization, digitalization, and the unprecedented demand of our customers during the recent peak season, our global e-commerce volume grew by more than 40 percent in Q4. With the order of eight new widebody freighter aircraft, we underline our conviction that e-commerce is an enduring megatrend. This is why we decided to act early and kick off 2021 with this investment in our future."