Deadline looms for regional hub opening

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 May, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 May, 2004, 12:00am

DHL Express is racing to finish its new US$100 million central Asia hub by the end of next month, giving the region's busiest express carrier less than five weeks to transfer operations before the lease at its present facility expires on June 30.

Operations executives said it was aiming to give itself just over a week to switch operations across the airport to the new hub. 'The Hong Kong hub opening will be the end of June, with a target of the 22nd,' an executive said.

The public launch of the express centre will come later, DHL Express chief executive Uwe Dorken said earlier this month: 'Our habit is to open the site, not when it moves the first volume through, but when it is operating seamlessly and perfectly. That usually takes a couple of months, so we have yet to decide on an exact opening date.'

The Airport Authority awarded the 15-year franchise to develop, build and operate the dedicated express terminal to DHL in late 2002 after the region's other dedicated express operators declined to bid.

It will use the facility as a hub largely for regional cargo, including intra-Asia freight from China, which it will in part service with the six new A300 freighters Air Hong Kong bought purchased from Airbus last year.