INTERNATIONAL logistics company DHL Express is open to expanding the current route of its aircraft operating in the Philippines depending on cargo volume and demand, according to a company official.

“Right now, the aircraft flies from Hong Kong to Manila and then goes on to Cebu as well. So Cebu is something that we added in 2019. As of now, these are the two stations in Manila that we are operating to. In the future, when the volume grows, we are open to the idea of adding other [routes],” DHL Express Philippines Senior Director for Operations Promod George told reporters during a media event in Pasay City on Thursday.

“For now, it is Manila and Cebu,” he said.

Mr. George disclosed that the company is also open to adding more aircraft dedicated to the Philippines.

“Adding more aircraft is always something that we look at depending on demand, depending on capacity, depending on the routes that we fly for,” Mr. George said.

On Thursday, DHL Express introduced its upgraded dedicated aircraft in the Philippines as part of its continuous investment in the country.

The upgraded aircraft, an Airbus 330-300 model, has a 31% increase in capacity to 55 tons from the previous 42 tons in the A300 model. It is operated by Air Hong Kong and will have 12 weekly flights servicing the route of Hong Kong-Manila-Cebu-Manila-Hong Kong.

“We continue to invest in our business in the Philippines and we are proud to bring these improvements to the country. Our new and larger aircraft is a firm commitment to serving our customers, and ensure that we are prepared to support their growth at a global scale and respond to the needs and demands of the market,” DHL Express Philippines Country Manager Nigel Lockett said.

The aircraft is part of a 15-year agreement signed by DHL with AHK Hong Kong Ltd. and Cathay Pacific that allows overnight air delivery services and support express services for the Asia-Pacific region until 2033.

The new aircraft has an earlier operating schedule, with inbound flights to Manila set to arrive earlier by 15 hours, while arrivals in Cebu have been made nine hours earlier, resulting in the arrival of shipments in the morning instead of the evening.

The earlier schedule allows same-day delivery shipments instead of the next day.

“We consistently upgrade and enhance our air and ground infrastructure to ensure our customers can get faster international deliveries. Our larger aircraft and earlier schedule will significantly improve our ability to support our customers with increased capacity and better transit time,” Mr. George said.

Meanwhile, DHL Express Philippines Head of Commercial Roderick Queppet said that e-commerce remains one of the growth drivers for the company’s business.

“This (e-commerce) is a continuous sector that has actually spurred growth for our business, including the deliveries because these are individuals ordering online and direct delivery to their different homes and offices. We continue to expect growth on this sector,” Mr. Queppet said.

“E-commerce is one of the major drivers right now. Of course, on top of other sectors like tech industry, automotive, retail sector, and most especially the retail market… These are also the major drivers for our business,” he added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave