DHL Express plans to place its third freighter-converted A330-300F (231, ex-Thai Airways) with Air Hong Kong. The express integrator confirmed to Cargo Facts that this aircraft will begin its Asian operations later this month.
Unit 231 was redelivered by Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) in September 2019 and was painted into the Air Hong Kong livery in Malta, but after being ferried to the DHL hub in Leipzig (LEJ), it has so far only been flying between LEJ and Milan (MXP), operated by ASL Airlines Ireland.
DHL has five more A330-300P2Fs on firm order, and options for ten more. The next aircraft (777, ex-China Eastern) arrived in DRS in June 2019 and will be redelivered in 2020. EFW redelivered the first A330-300P2F (116, ex-Malaysia Airlines) to DHL in 2017 and the second (127, ex-Hi Fly) in 2018.
The status of Air Hong Kong’s decision to transfer at least two ASL-operated A330Fs to its own AOC is currently unclear. Unit 116, which was supposed to have been transferred by the end of August 2019, has been in maintenance in Singapore (QPG) since May 2019. The second is a production A330-200F (1414), one of five DHL Express picked up from Abu-Dhabi based Etihad and which has been flying only between Hong Kong (HKG) and Shanghai (PVG).
According to ASL, it has been operating an A300-600F (677) for Air Hong Kong since late July because the carrier is short of capacity. That aircraft has been exclusively operating a five-times-weekly flight between HKG and Manila (MNL), positioning to Clark (CRK) to park during the day. This operation was expected to conclude at the end of September but unit 671 appears to still be flying the same route. It is likely that unit 671 will return to Europe once unit 231 arrives in HKG.
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