DHL Express will modernize its fleet in Europe with the acquisition of 13 A300-600 passenger aircraft and conversion of the planes to freighters.
The aircraft will be converted by EADS Elbe Flugzeugwerke in Dresden, Germany, and DHL will use them to replace its older A300-B4 freighters.
DHL says the planes will provide a step up in capacity and range, and in environmental standards.
“By introducing this aircraft now we can ensure continuously high reliability and on-time performance for years to come, while we are also able to take a big leap towards our goal of reducing our carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2020,” Bryan Jamison, DHL’s managing director for network operations said in a prepared statement.
Capable of carrying up to 49 metric tons, the narrow-body A300-600 freighters will have some 11 percent more capacity than DHL’s current European freighters and boast about 600 miles more range while burning 20 percent less fuel.
DHL will start taking the converted planes in October under a plan that will run through 2013.
The company did not disclose the original owners of the passenger planes or the purchase price.