Singapore Airlines has welcomed its latest Boeing 777 aircraft. It’s not just any 777, but a special aircraft part of a deal signed between SIA and global logistics giant DHL earlier this year. The widebody freighter departed Everett Airport on July 3rd for its long journey across the Pacific to Singapore.
At the time of writing, a special Boeing 777F airplane (fight SQ8877) crossed the Pacific Ocean, almost mid-way of its 15-hour journey from Everett Airport (PAE) to Singapore Changi Airport (SIN). The aircraft (9V-DHA) sports a unique dual DHL-Singapore Airlines livery as part of a deal signed between the two airlines to expand express services linking the Asia-Pacific region with the Americas.
The flight was over the Pacific Ocean on its way to Singapore at the time of writing. Photo: FlightRadar24.com
The first of few more aircraft to be delivered to Singapore, the 777 was spotted last month at Paine Field on its first test flight to Grant County International Airport (MHW) as it prepared for future operations with Singapore as its base.
In March 2022, DHL Express entered into a Crew and Maintenance agreement (CM) with Singapore Airlines to deploy five such Boeing 777 freighters. DHL sensed strong growth prospects in trans-Pacific trade lanes and collaborated with Singapore Airlines to expand its express service linking the Asia-Pacific region with the Americas.
Under the deal, SQ pilots will operate the freighters on routes to the United States via points in North Asia while Singapore Airlines ground and maintenance crews take care of the planes while they are on the ground.
DHL’s Asia-Pacific boss, Ken Lee, had earlier commented that the agreement guarantees capacity on critical routes out of Singapore as the airline gears up for ongoing growth in Asia-Pacific trade. He added that it gives DHL greater flexibility to add new routes and optimize aircraft utilization in the face of unpredictable changes or sudden increases in demand.
Singapore Airlines, too, looked outside of its core passenger operations to boost revenues as demand for cargo skyrocketed during the pandemic.
DHL already operates over 320 freighters across a global network of 220 countries and territories, while SIA’s cargo division operates to more than 90 destinations as part of its current network, which includes a fleet of freighters and the belly-hold space of the SIA and Scoot passenger aircraft.
Realizing the growing importance of dedicated cargo service, SIA has also ordered the Airbus A350F freighters as part of its fleet renewal program.
More to come
9V-DHA will soon be joined by four more 777 freighters as the deal was signed for five such aircraft. The second plane is due to arrive in October, with the remaining three in 2023.
The initial agreement was set for more than four years with the opportunity for an extension.
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