Sept. 13 Update: The story has been updated to reflect comments from DHL and Lufthansa.
This week, a 777F (66081) in DHL Express livery was spotted above the skies of Everett’s Paine Field (PAE). Apart from the red and yellow DHL colors, the livery also indicates that upon delivery, the 777F will be operated by AeroLogic under the registration D-AALL.
Here’s a recent sighting of the widebody at PAE from Jennifer Schuld on Twitter (@JenSchuld):
DHL 777 D-AALL taxi test and first test flight today at Paine Field. pic.twitter.com/xEaQEVzpYN
— Jennifer Schuld (@JenSchuld) September 10, 2019
Therefore, AeroLogic will operate DHL’s third 777F, right? This is reasonable given DHL’s order last year for fourteen, and up to twenty-one, 777Fs. The first two aircraft to be delivered as part of that order (66079 and 66080) carry the same colors, and are now operated by Southern Air on a CMI basis – alongside six other 777Fs Southern operates for DHL on an ACMI basis. While that may indeed be the case, it appears that a separate deal announced in January 2019 under which Lufthansa Cargo would lease a 777F from Boeing and hand it over to AeroLogic for CMI operations, may have been altered. Lufthansa later confirmed to Cargo Facts that the deal to lease an additional 777F this fall remains unchanged.
Based on the aircraft’s livery, it would seem that AeroLogic will be operating the aircraft on a CMI basis for DHL Express. In Southern’s fleet, the DHL livery distinguishes aircraft owned by the express company from the ACMI-leased fleet in Southern Air colors. It would make sense that DHL would take the same approach with AeroLogic – at present, all eleven 777Fs operating in AeroLogic’s fleet are in the carrier’s own colors. DHL later confirmed to Cargo Facts that 66081 and the next 777F to be delivered to DHL Express will both be operated on a CMI basis by AeroLogic.
Returning to Lufthansa’s January announcement, the carrier had identified two registrations, D-AALK and D-AALL, for the pair of 777Fs joining the AeroLogic fleet in 2019, with capacity managed by Lufthansa Cargo. The first aircraft, D-AALK (66164), was delivered in January and is emblazoned in AeroLogic colors. The second 777F was supposed to be delivered to Lufthansa Cargo on lease from Boeing in the fall. Due to a change in delivery schedules, D-AALL will be delivered to DHL Express, and placed in CMI operations with AeroLogic, while the unit to be leased to Lufthansa will carry a different registration.
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