US-based Kalitta Air has begun basing its 777F operations around Leipzig/Halle Airport (LEJ) and will continue to do so until January 2020, the carrier told Cargo Facts. After 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 CVG, New York (JFK) and Miami (MIA).
On Aug. 31, however, unit 35607 made its way from DHL’s Americas hub at CVG across the Atlantic to the European hub at LEJ. Since then, the 777F has been flying between LEJ and the Central Asia hub in Hong Kong (HKG), via Delhi (DEL) or Bahrain (BAH).
Kalitta Air said that it is still working towards securing ETOPS approval for the 777F. Once the ETOPS qualification is obtained, the 777F will then be able to also fly trans-Pacific routes for DHL.
Apart from the 777F, Kalitta also operates a number of 747-400s, -400BCFs and 767-300BDSFs for DHL on an ACMI basis. It remains to be seen whether the 777F will be used to replace one of the 747-400BCFs, the oldest few of which are around 30 years old.