Southern Air Holdings, Inc. today announced that it has entered into leases to add two Boeing 777F aircraft to its fleet.
In March 2010, Southern Air became the first ACMI operator to fly the 777F, strengthening its ability to deliver the highest levels of service in an environmentally superior manner. Upon delivery of the new 777Fs in March and April 2012, Southern Air will operate four of the aircraft and remain the only ACMI provider to do so. This is major step in Southern Air's fleet enhancement program, which also involves adding several Boeing 747-400s. Last week Southern Air announced that it will lease two 747-400SF aircraft owned by Aircastle Limited (NYSE: AYR).
The new aircraft will be immediately placed into service on behalf of DHL Express, the world's leading international express provider, which became Southern Air's customer in September 2011. Currently DHL uses Southern Air's 777F service to connect its hubs in Cincinnati (CVG), Bahrain (BAH) and Hong Kong (HK), giving its customers later pickup times out of Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta and next-day delivery into the U.S., Canada and much of the Americas.
Southern Air and DHL share a commitment to environmental protection as both a business responsibility and opportunity. In that respect, Southern Air support's DHL's GoGreen environmental protection program, which is a critical part of its strategic objective to make a positive contribution to the world and offer customers innovative, sustainable solutions.
Daniel J. McHugh, Chief Executive Officer of Southern Air, said, "We are proud to add two new 777Fs to our fleet. The addition of these aircraft will further enhance the service we provide to our newest client, DHL Express, and further enable our ability to support its environmental objectives, which we share. This is also another important step in Southern Air's ongoing fleet renewal program, which in addition to the 777s involves the addition of four 747-400s in the first quarter of next year. Following the recent capital investment in Southern Air, we have the necessary financial strength to continue investing in our fleet in the coming years, which will benefit our blue chip clients and attract additional ones."
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