The new airline, based at Vienna Airport, will operate pan-European routes, using B757 freighter aircraft. These will be transferred from DHL Air UK which will concentrate on transcontinental flights. The move is a result of Brexit, which will see British-registered airlines lose traffic rights for conducting both passenger and cargo flights within the EU.
Austria can look forward to a new airline, bringing tax revenues and new jobs. But the joy is also mixed with disappointment because Vienna will not become a new hub for DHL Express. “The aircraft we are withdrawing from the UK will be stationed and deployed where the volumes are," a DHL speaker told CargoForwarder Global. Hence, in Leipzig, Brussels, Milan for example, including East Midlands for connecting DHL’s UK hub with the EU and transiting shipments there for onward flights taking to North America or Asia. Currently, DHL is in the process of filing applications with the Austrian authorities. Provided they are approved, the new airline will be established and launch its maiden flight later this year.
Strengthening the intra-European network
“By expanding our airline platform, we are not just adapting to changing regulations, but also preparing our European network for further growth,” explains Roy Hughes, EVP Network Operations Europe at DHL Express. The manager goes on to say: “To meet the high demand of our customers for cross-border Express deliveries we take these measures to continue providing them with sufficient Express capacity. With the planned structure, we will achieve both, a flexible and even more resilient airline network in Europe and a better global integration by increasing our intercontinental flights.”
DHL Air UK facing remodeling
As for DHL Air UK, its role will change. Deprived of intra-European traffic rights, the carrier will remodel its East Midlands based airline and concentrate on intercontinental services. According to a release issued today (25May21), DHL Air UK will increase flights between the UK, the Americas region and Asia. In this context, the fleet will be expanded by adding more B767s and introducing new B777F aircraft. The plan is for DHL Air UK to commence its B777 operations in early 2022. “The United Kingdom has always been a crucial gateway to the world. With an increasing demand in international time definite deliveries this is today more valid than ever”, explains Tom Mackle, Managing Director at DHL Air UK.
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