NORWALK, Conn., April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Air Holdings, Inc. today announced that it has taken ownership of its fourth 777F, the world's largest and most advanced twin-engine freighter, at Boeing headquarters in Everett, Washington.
Southern Air is the only ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) operator to fly the 777F, enabling it to serve customers with fewer stops, shorter cargo delivery times and lower handling costs. These freighters offer the most cargo capacity and longest flight times in the industry, making it possible to connect intercontinental markets overnight. Southern Air has been flying the 777F since 2010.
The new aircraft will be immediately inducted into service for DHL Express on the shipper's new round-the-world service from Hong Kong to Los Angeles to Leipzig, Germany and back to Hong Kong. The new route reduces shipping time from Asia-Pacific and the U.S. West Coast to one day and extends cargo pick-up times for U.S. suppliers shipping to Europe. Southern Air's third 777F began flying this route earlier this month, and its first two have flown the Cincinnati-Bahrain-Hong Kong route for DHL since September 2011.
Dan McHugh, President and CEO of Southern Air, said, "The 777 is the largest, most environmentally advanced wide-body freighter in the world. As the only ACMI operator to fly this aircraft, Southern Air is able to help our customers reduce fuel costs by as much as 25 percent on global routes, savings that make a significant difference in supply chain costs. Our fourth 777 solidifies our position among the world's most efficient and reliable cargo carriers."
Over the last two years, Southern Air has embarked upon an aggressive transformation from a pure 747-200 airline with an average fleet age of 33 years to a highly reliable, fuel efficient fleet of 777Fs and 747SFs, with plans to introduce several 747-400F factory freighters by 2013. By the end of next year, the Company is targeting an average fleet age of less than 7 years. In total, Southern Air's fleet currently includes fourteen 777s and 747s designed for global long-haul cargo shipments.
The fourth 777F is painted, like the first three, in combined DHL and Southern Air livery.
About Southern Air
Southern Air was founded in 1947 as a high-quality global cargo carrier specializing in the provision of block space and aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance ("ACMI") services. Southern Air's blue-chip customer base includes some of the world's largest combination cargo carriers and government agencies. Southern Air currently operates a fleet of six Boeing 747-200s and will be adding eight 747-400s to the fleet by 2013. Southern Air is the first ACMI operator in the world to operate the new Boeing 777 Freighter and currently operates three such aircraft, with an additional aircraft slated for delivery in April 2012. Southern Air is a portfolio company of Oak Hill Capital Partners, a private equity firm with considerable expertise in aircraft leasing, financing and manufacturing.
About the Boeing 777
Unrivaled success in markets across the globe has made the 777 the flagship of the world's most successful airlines. With its wide fuselage, generous stowage and elegant interior the 777 has been voted the best aircraft by the readers of Executive Travel magazine for two years in a row. At the top of the charts for reliability and productivity, the 777 helps airlines maximize earnings and exemplary environmental performance makes the 777 a welcome visitor to highly regulated airports. Filling the gap between the mid-size widebody cargo airplanes and the larger 747 freighters, the 777 Freighter (with 102 tonnes of revenue payload) delivers lower tonne-mile costs, flies greater distances nonstop, and achieves the lowest trip costs of any large twin-engine freighter.
Mark Semer / James David
Kekst and Company
Tel: +1 212-521-4800
SOURCE Southern Air