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lindy field
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How Many DC-8s Still With ABX Air?

Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:05 am

Hi all,

I was just wondering how many DC-8-60s are still flying for ABX Air in either Airborne, ABX, or DHL colors. It seems that ABX has retired quite a lot of them as they've taken on more and more 767-200 freighters, although I know at least three have been painted into the DHL livery. What's happened to the rest? Are they sitting around ILN waiting to be parted out and scrapped like the batch from 2001 in the photo below? Will any of them escape to fly for another carrier?

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Photo © Matt Kluck


Thanks for any info.

Edward
 
wjcandee
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RE: How Many DC-8s Still With ABX Air?

Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:10 am

According to the 11/9/06 10Q, as of September 30, 2006:

Six DC8s still in the operating fleet.

As of the latest "schedule change", one DC8 flies nightly from JFK-ILN, one flies from DTW-ILN and one flies from ATL-ILN. There may be others depending upon the day of week.

14 DC8s had been released from service for DHL as of 9/30/06. They could have made DHL buy them back at a contracted price, but decided that they could sell them or use them for charter. As of 9/30/06, it appears that 2 were held for charter and 8 were put up for sale. (One of the ones held for charter flew for UPS under contract during the holiday season, for what it's worth.)

We'll know more when the next 10Q comes out from ABX Air.

As to the 767s, ABX acquired a number of 767s on their own accord, for use in charter. Two of them will shortly be operated under ACMI contracts with ANA, for example, and maybe more in the future. One of them flies nightly from LAX to FWA for Kitty Hawk. At least one and maybe more flies for a South American operation. As fast as ABX can take the 762Fs on board, they appear to be leasing them out to non-DHL customers.
 
gregarious119
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RE: How Many DC-8s Still With ABX Air?

Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:24 am

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 1):
As of the latest "schedule change", one DC8 flies nightly from JFK-ILN, one flies from DTW-ILN and one flies from ATL-ILN. There may be others depending upon the day of week.

Interesting that those are all legacy hubs for other carriers (DL and NW). NW also send a 747 in from ANC each morning. Do they have agreements with those carriers to share hauling the freight?
 
wjcandee
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RE: How Many DC-8s Still With ABX Air?

Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:34 am

Quoting Gregarious119 (Reply 2):
Interesting that those are all legacy hubs for other carriers (DL and NW). NW also send a 747 in from ANC each morning. Do they have agreements with those carriers to share hauling the freight?

I don't think that there's a relationship between the city and the choice of the DC8, except that the DC8 hauls a bunch of freight (90,000 lbs plus) like the 762, and so goes into the larger cities, as does the 762. The critical thing is that each of these large cities is a relatively-short flight from ILN, so the fuel burn difference between the 8 and the 762 isn't as great as, say, flying it to LAX would involve.

ABX Air is an express parcel airline, for the most part, flying for DHL Express. It has no need to share any DOMESTIC freight with NW or DL. The single Northwest Cargo flight into ILN is a nightly scheduled flight for DHL which brings express from Asia via ANC into ILN where it is injected into the DHL domestic express network. Similarly, a Lufthansa Cargo flight arrives nightly from England (with a previous stop in Europe) at ILN, bringing the European parcels into ILN. At ILN, of course, the parcels go into the DHL US express network.

DHL also buys international space on other carriers. For example, it just bought part of Polar Air Cargo, and will be guaranteed space on numerous Polar scheduled flights.
 
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litz
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RE: How Many DC-8s Still With ABX Air?

Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:48 am

Actually ...

DHL has a Same Day service that does indeed use commercial flights for delivery.

In our case ('cause we're in Atlanta), DHL picks up the package, ships it Delta Dash to the destination, picks it up from the Dash office, and delivers it to the final address.

My employer uses that (and normal Delta Dash, where it's picked up at the airport) all the time to get parts out to our field service technicians.

BTW, note the difference ... DHL is selling a service, and using Delta (or whomever) as the cargo carrier ... they are NOT handling Delta's Cargo, nor is Delta handing their "normal" overnight cargo.

This is specifically for gotta-get-it-there-NOW parcels.

And yes, there is a pretty shocking "gotta-get-it-there-NOW" price attached to the service as well.

- litz
 
echster
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RE: How Many DC-8s Still With ABX Air?

Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:09 am

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 3):
The single Northwest Cargo flight into ILN is a nightly scheduled flight for DHL which brings express from Asia via ANC into ILN where it is injected into the DHL domestic express network. Similarly, a Lufthansa Cargo flight arrives nightly from England (with a previous stop in Europe) at ILN, bringing the European parcels into ILN.

I believe their RIV hub is scheduled to receive a Transmile MD-11F in April or May. I believe it's currently HKG-ANC-LAX-ANC-HKG but will switch to RIV from LAX. I haven't heard officially about frequency, but rumors are it'll be 3 x week.
 
wjcandee
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RE: How Many DC-8s Still With ABX Air?

Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:30 pm

Quoting Litz (Reply 4):
DHL has a Same Day service that does indeed use commercial flights for delivery.

Absolutely!! It's the old Sky Courier business that was bought by Airborne and then brought into DHL when they bought Airborne. My old firm used a carrier called AdCom Express that did the same thing, and I have seen ads from time to time for other companies that will also arrange that kind of service for you. The thing is that with the current airline security environment, you have to be a registered or "trusted" or something shipper to use the service. I'm thinking that the best part of using someone like DHL, however, is that they are certain to have somebody to pick it up and deliver it at the far end of the route.

One little DHL/Airborne tidbit: Technicolor (i.e. the major movie studios' film-copier and distributor) has been an Airborne-then-DHL customer for decades. They get a special package of services that involves getting film cans to your local theatre by overnight delivery, as well as emergency hot-shot same-day runs in the manner that you describe when operational necessities (like the film being defective or the distributor wanting to add venues) requires same-day service. Whatever their general reputation is, DHL/Airborne has always handled this account as a top priority and constantly wins awards for this service, which must be a huge moneymaker.
 
wjcandee
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RE: How Many DC-8s Still With ABX Air?

Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:32 pm

Quoting Echster (Reply 5):
I believe their RIV hub is scheduled to receive a Transmile MD-11F in April or May.

I think, too, that the LH Cargo (ACMI service provided by World Airways) MD11 from Europe to JFK also has some DHL stuff aboard, but I don't know the percentage. I also know that they use space on other scheduled cargo carriers for various international shipments. I thought there was something that went to LAX; thanks for confirming it.

PS Given how much complaining the RIV NIMBYs are doing about the DC9s, I can't wait to see what they say about an MD11. Yes, it's a quieter aircraft in some sense, but it's also a lot bigger, which is bound to cause howls.

[Edited 2007-02-13 07:34:04]

[Edited 2007-02-13 07:34:28]
 
blueflyer
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RE: How Many DC-8s Still With ABX Air?

Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:24 pm

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 1):
As fast as ABX can take the 762Fs on board, they appear to be leasing them out to non-DHL customers.

As long as they fulfill their contract with DHL, ABX and Astar are free to do whatever they want. In fact, DHL likes nothing better than to see its two carriers take on additional work for third parties because the company knows full well FedEx and UPS will not miss any opportunity to try and prove that ABX and Astar are effectively foreign-controlled by depending on a single foreign entity for so much of their revenue, an argument that becomes harder and harder to make.

Quoting Litz (Reply 4):
DHL has a Same Day service that does indeed use commercial flights for delivery.

And a Same Day service that includes chartering an aircraft when scheduled flights aren't fast enough. In that regard, DHL is merely competing with BAX, FedEx and UPS though, all four will get it there as fast as you can afford it.

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 7):
I think, too, that the LH Cargo (ACMI service provided by World Airways) MD11 from Europe to JFK also has some DHL stuff aboard

Lufthansa Cargo has a contract with DHL to operates two flights ex EMA (DHL's UK hub), one into ILN and the other JFK (which Lufthansa did subcontract to World). At least one, if not both (I can't recall), begins in CGN.

Despite the ILN - EMA flight, JFK is DHL's de facto European gateway, with a daily MD-11 operated by Gemini linking it with BRU, DHL's European hub.

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 3):
It has no need to share any DOMESTIC freight with NW or DL

Actually, some of the freight coming into JFK from BRU is carried on to the next station on commercial flights ex JFK. The rest goes on the nightly A300 linking JFK and ILN and spread from there.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has no clothes.
 
wjcandee
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RE: How Many DC-8s Still With ABX Air?

Tue Feb 13, 2007 5:34 pm

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 8):
FedEx and UPS will not miss any opportunity to try and prove that ABX and Astar are effectively foreign-controlled by depending on a single foreign entity for so much of their revenue, an argument that becomes harder and harder to make.

True. However, the DOT has already ruled that AStar, even in its previous sole-source situation vis a vis DHL (i.e. before the Airborne purchase and ABX Air's entry on the scene) is not foreign-controlled, even if the amount of outside business is low or nonexistent. However, nothing prevents them from taking another run at the argument if circumstances or something else changes, so I agree that this is chicken soup -- can't hurt.

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 8):
Despite the ILN - EMA flight, JFK is DHL's de facto European gateway, with a daily MD-11 operated by Gemini linking it with BRU, DHL's European hub.

Probably because so much European traffic originates in the New York vicinity, and I guess more comes in from LAX via the nightly LAX-JFK nonstop. Interestingly, every time I send an express letter by DHL from NYC to Cambridge, England, it goes via ILN. Thanks for filling in the info about the other flights. I assume that these flights also move a fair bit of larger cargo than just express envelopes.

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 8):
Actually, some of the freight coming into JFK from BRU is carried on to the next station on commercial flights ex JFK.

As Carson used to say, "I did not know that". But it makes sense. And I assume that the key word there is "freight" rather than Express. Perhaps this is a little bit of the blend of DHL's previous way of doing things pre-Airborne, which I guess remains unchanged. Thanks for the knowledgable post.