DHL Express Middle East and North Africa said it will add seven Boeing 767-300F freighters to its fleet this year as it seeks to boost its operational capabilities to meet a surge in e-commerce demand in the region.
The freighters will be introduced throughout 2021, boosting the company’s regional load capacity by more than 33 per cent, DHL Express Mena said in a statement on Sunday.
“Based on our performance in 2020, where we saw historic peaks in cross-border e-commerce volumes both globally and in the region, we anticipate this trend to continue, and our enhanced air capacities will enable us to handle the increased demand for delivery expertise in time-definite express shipments,” Nour Suliman, chief executive of DHL Express Mena, said.
Global air cargo has outperformed the passenger business throughout the Covid-19 crisis and that trend is expected to continue in 2021.
Demand for cargo is expected to grow 13.1 per cent this year compared to 2020, according to the International Air Transport Association. Total cargo volumes are expected to reach 63.1 million tons in 2021, which is nearly at the pre-crisis peak of 63.5 million tonnes that occurred in 2018.
DHL Express Mena, which has a regional base in Bahrain, will use the new freighters on existing “high-demand” lanes across the Gulf, Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent, it said.
“The new aircraft will greatly contribute to enhancing our reach and service across key markets in the region such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Lebanon, Jordan, East Africa and on our Asian lanes, amongst others”, Richard Gale, head of DHL Aviation Middle East and Africa, said.