DHL to hand over more 777Fs to Kalitta

DHL currently has two 777Fs operated by AeroLogic and two others operated by Southern Air on a CMI basis. (Photo: DHL)

U.S.-based Kalitta Air will become the third CMI operator of 777Fs owned by DHL Express. The next 777F (66083) destined for delivery to DHL features the full yellow livery of the express integrator, with “Operated by Kalitta Air” featured near the cockpit windows, like 777Fs operated on a CMI basis by other carriers for DHL.

Unit 66083 began flight tests on Jan. 30. Following Boeing’s delivery of the aircraft, it will be one of at least two 777Fs Kalitta will likely be operating on a CMI basis for the express integrator. A second 777F (66084) undergoing final assembly is also connected to a Kalitta registration, according to the FAA registry.

Kalitta Air took delivery of its single 777F (35607, ex-Emirates) in June 2019, and began operating it on routes for DHL Express on an ACMI basis in August, flying exclusively between Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), New York (JFK) and Miami (MIA). Since September 2019, unit 35607 has been based at Leipzig (LEJ), flying between the DHL hub and Hong Kong (HKG). But on Jan. 25, Kalitta flew the aircraft across the Pacific Ocean for the first time, from CVG to Melbourne (MEL) via Honolulu (HNL). Since then, unit 35607 has been flying between MEL and Anchorage (ANC) via Guam (GUM). Kalitta told Cargo Facts that it is in the process of geographic validation for ETOPS approval, with a planned completion date of Feb. 7.

Securing ETOPS approval would enable Kalitta to deploy its growing 777F fleet on trans-Pacific operations. Just this week, the carrier requested four weekly allocations from the Department of Transportation for a trans-Pacific routing connecting CVG, the site of DHL Express’ U.S. hub, and the Central Asia hub in HKG, via Los Angeles (LAX), Sydney (SYD) and Singapore (SIN), on behalf of “a major freight forwarder.” These flights are likely connected to DHL, as reported by our sister publication, Air Cargo World.

DHL firm-ordered fourteen 777Fs, with options for up to seven more, in July 2018, and has since taken delivery of four aircraft. DHL placed two units each with Atlas Air-affiliate Southern Air and AeroLogic, a 50/50 joint venture of DHL Express and Lufthansa Cargo, for CMI operations.

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