By Precious John, Special Correspondent
The world’s leading express service provider, DHL Express and SmartLynx Malta have announced the signing of a new partnership agreement for the introduction of two newly converted Airbus A321-200 freighters joining DHL’s European air fleet. The new technically advanced narrow-body fleet type is adding capacity to meet the increasing demand for express cargo transportation worldwide combined with further improving DHL’s unit CO2 emissions by introducing the most fuel efficient narrow-body aircraft in its class.
SmartLynx is a family member of Avia Solutions Group, the largest aerospace business group from Central & Eastern Europe, and has extensive experience operating the A321 family of aircraft. This agreement sets a new hallmark as SmartLynx’s Malta subsidiary enters into the freighter market.
“We at DHL pride ourselves as the global industry pioneer when it comes to introducing new generation conversion freighter types to the market” says Senior Vice President Global Air Fleet Management at DHL Express, Geoff Kehr. “Continually modernizing our fleet with the most efficient and reliable cargo aircraft produced is vital to our success. Having led the world with the A330-300P2F development and successful implementation, it is only natural we would follow on by adding the smaller A321 family aircraft to our global freighter fleet”.
The partnership comes as both a confirmation and a recognition of SmartLynx Malta’s standing in the aviation industry, and its place in supporting the growing demand for air cargo capacity. Increasing demand for e-commerce shipments and also highly important protective and medical goods, require additional air cargo capacity. The fuel-efficient Airbus A321-200 achieves superior unit reductions in CO2 emissions compared to similar class freighter models. By investing in these aircraft, SmartLynx Malta illustrates its commitment towards embracing a future focused on cleaner, more sustainable air freight carriage.
“We are pleased to share the news about the latest addition to our client portfolio. By supporting DHL with two freighter units, our partner is advancing their readiness to respond to a growing air cargo demand”, says CEO of SmartLynx Malta, Zygimantas Surintas. “We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all of the DHL team for their belief that we are both willing and capable of providing the highest-class product in keeping with their expectations. This development is a substantial step forward in our strategic plans for the future. DHL is a leading air transport capacity, and having strong partnerships is a decisive factor to growing our business even further and in a cleaner, more sustainable manner.”
Smartlynx Malta is planning to add two additional A321Fs during 2021 and up to four units during 2022, with a business target of becoming one of the largest narrow-body cargo freight carriers within the next three years.