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DHL Express plans cargo airline

April 07, 2006 12:22 IST

Express and logistics company DHL Express is exploring possibilities to launch own dedicated freighter in India to facilitate better air connectivity from the country.

The company has an exclusive tie-up with German airline major Lufthansa for handling air cargo in addition to slot arrangements with other airlines.

DHL Express country manager Chris Callen confirmed that DHL management was examining the proposal of starting dedicated cargo plane.

"DHL owns over 400 freighter flying across the world. India is the prime focus of our global aviation strategy. We may deploy dedicated freighter in this region with high demand growth," said Callen.

In another development, DHL Express has tied up with Malaysian-based air cargo operator Transmile Group Bhd for offering better services to US from south India. This tie up is expected to save more than a day for consignments to US.

DHL will now deliver consignments from Bangalore, Chennai and other key south Indian markets in just two days using Transmile, which is a part of DHL's regional AirAsia network.  

The tie-up with Transmile will route all consignments from Chennai and Bangalore to Hong Kong - DHL's Asia Pacific hub. The consignments will then be sent to DHL's hubs in Illinworth, Ohio and Los Angeles California for distribution to centres on the East and West Coast of the country.

DHL Express handles over 1,200 tonnes of outbound consignments per year -- including samples, documents, spare parts to semi finished and finished goods -- from India to the USA. Over 75 percent of these consignments are targeted at the East Coast of America.

On the expansion plans, Callen said the company would be add 30 more retail outlets to existing 47 in this financial year. 

"DHL has made significant investment in India in the last few years. This investment has been made in new technology, expanding infrastructure, developing innovative products and services to meet the needs of our growing customer base," Callen added.

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P R Sanjai in Mumbai