Regional Carrier Mesa Airlines To Fly Boeing 737-400Fs For DHL

Mesa Airlines has signed an agreement to operate cargo flights for DHL Express with Boeing 737 aircraft. The regional US-based airline announced earlier in July that the new venture would diversify its operations as it moves into a profitable area of air travel.

DHL in Germany
Mesa Airlines is to start a partnership with DHL Express in October. Photo: Getty Images

Mesa Airlines signs deal with DHL

Cargo operations have gained traction recently in light of the current climate. Many airlines have turned their hands to overseas deliveries of vital medical supplies and trade items. While for many ventures have been temporary, Mesa Airlines is now ready to invest more heavily in this sector.

Earlier this month, the regional carrier headquartered in Phoenix in Arizona said that it had signed a five year deal with DHL Express. Operating on behalf of the well-known logistics provider, Mesa Airlines will lease two Boeing 737-400F from its new partner. The first of the aircraft is expected to be in operation from October 2020, in two months. They will operate from Northern Kentucky International Airport.

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DHL and Mesa Airlines well-suited

Mesa Airlines has shared its excitement over the deal. The airline regularly operates on behalf of United Express and American Eagle, meaning that it is well-poised to take on this new challenge. Operating for DHL Express is something that officials at the airline feel will come naturally.

United Express
Mesa Airlines is accustomed to operating on behalf of United Express. Photo: Getty Images

Speaking on July 13th in a press release, the CEO of Mesa Airlines Jonathan Ornstein shared the following,

“We are very excited to enter the cargo market and diversify our business. Flying under contract on behalf of DHL is essentially the same business model Mesa has operated under for over 20 years. Cargo transport plays a critical role in the health of communities and economies around the world. Mesa is well-suited for this new mission, and this is just the beginning of what we believe will be a long and productive relationship with DHL.”

The Mesa Air Group also went further to say that the venture will be an excellent opportunity for employees. Pilots with Mesa Airlines will benefit from Boeing 737 training and consequently receive salaries in the highest pay bracket for a regional airline. It’s clear that partnership with DHL Express will enhance Mesa Airlines for all.

B737-400F DHL
Mesa Airlines will lease two B737-400F from DHL. Photo: Raimond Spekking via Wikimedia Commons

Other airlines turning to cargo operations

A surprising benefit of the global pandemic has been the fact that it has allowed commercial airlines to focus on cargo operations. Many have transformed standard passenger planes to transport goods across the world. And, it has paid off for a lot of them.

On Friday, IAG Cargo announced that it had experienced a 33.1% cargo revenue increase from the start of April until the end of June. It adapted its commercial planes to carry cargo on over 340 flights per week. Similarly, United Airlines said that its cargo operations had increased revenue by 36.3% on more than 3,800 cargo flights throughout the pandemic.

Yet, while there are stories of success, other carriers have only experienced losses. Delta Air Lines posted a 42% cargo revenue loss in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the previous year. Likewise, American Airlines lost 41% of its cargo revenues as it chose to focus more heavily on its regional flights.

Do you think the Mesa Airlines-DHL partnership will work well? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.