JAL - Japan Airlines (JL, Tokyo Haneda) will operate its first dedicated freighter for DHL Express on previously announced international routes out of Tokyo Narita and Nagoya Chubu, starting in mid-February 2024.

"We view this agreement as further solidifying the longstanding partnership between JAL and DHL. As we operate our own freighters for the first time in 13 years, we will contribute to solving social issues and also position it as the driver of our company's dramatic business growth in addition to meeting the growing needs of our customers," JAL's Executive Officer (Cargo and Mail), Yuichiro Kito, said.

The Japanese carrier has already disclosed the freighter's initial network, which will comprise services from Narita and Nagoya to Taipei Taoyuan, Seoul Incheon, and Shanghai Pudong. JAL also plans to operate a weekly Narita-Nagoya flight as a part of its service to Shanghai. DHL will use the freighter's capacity on these routes but, for now, has not disclosed any plans for the deployment of the aircraft on other services.

JAL has yet to confirm the identity of its forthcoming B767 freighter, although the ch-aviation fleets module shows that two of the carrier's owned B767-300ERs - JA653J (msn 40365) and JA654J (msn 40366) - are currently undergoing conversion at Singapore Paya Lebar airport. JAL continues to operate twenty-five passenger-configured B767-300ERs.

The Japanese carrier retired its last five B747-400(BCF)s by 2010 and has not operated any dedicated freighters since then, in stark contrast to local rival ANA - All Nippon Airways, which currently operates 11 dedicated freighters.

DHL no longer has any in-house airlines in North-East Asia, having sold its stake in Air Hong Kong (LD, Hong Kong International) to JV partner Cathay Pacific (CX, Hong Kong International) in 2019. The Hong Kong carrier continues to operate on behalf of DHL.