Eastern Air to fly B777 Express Freighters to China, Vietnam for Flexport
Eastern Air Holdings and Flexport announced a multi-year contract for cargo services that "will bring much needed net-new capacity to the global air freight market," reads the release.
Eastern is expected to begin flying its B777 Express Freighters, once approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, twice-weekly between Chicago International Airport (ORD) and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) as well as Chicago International Airport (ORD) and Saigon's Ho Chi Minh City Airport (SGN) on behalf of Flexport.
The Eastern B777 Express Freighter is the first of its kind to market, designed specifically for e-commerce goods, and provides cargo capacity to the global supply chain with its low-cost, reliable solution.
The Eastern Air Holdings note says "The innovative design converts the main deck cabin of the widebody B777, traditionally a passenger aircraft, into a true cargo aircraft that will enable Flexport clients – some of today's most valuable global brands and fast-growing e-commerce companies – to fulfil consumer demand and keep goods moving."
The soon-to-be-launched service will join Flexport's tech-enabled global airfreight, container freight station (CFS) and trucking network. As all shipments are managed via the Flexport platform, clients utilizing the Eastern B777 Express Freighter service will get end-to-end control of their shipments and continuous milestone visibility. As part of the supply chain strategy, Flexport clients shipping from Asia hubs into the United States Midwest can use Flexport Platform data to determine high-value SKUs and prioritize shipments to control costs and maximize the value of Eastern's innovative solution.
"There is an urgent demand to develop new solutions that alleviate the constricted global cargo market," said Steve Harfst, Eastern Air Holdings president & CEO. "Our partnership with Flexport, combining the large volume of our B777 Express Freighter with Flexport's leading-edge e-commerce technology and logistics platform, will fill that unmet need and add new capacity to the global cargo market."
Neel Jones Shah, executive vice president and global head of airfreight at Flexport, said, "Flexport client demand for airfreight has roughly doubled while global capacity has remained approximately 10 percent below pre-pandemic levels. Our strategic agreement with Eastern will provide critical net-new capacity to the market and bring our two innovative companies together to help meet demand and fuel growth."
As passenger travel remains depleted, the cargo constraints impacting the global supply chain continue to persist. Eastern has purchased five Boeing 777s for cargo conversion, with an option to acquire 30 additional Boeing 777s. As e-commerce-driven demand continues to grow, this new capacity provided by Eastern, and partners like Flexport, will deliver an innovative solution to ease the pain.
Eastern Air Cargo offers general cargo sales, cargo charters, ACMI/wet-leasing and dry leasing in customizable routes.