DHL buys stake in ASTAR Air Cargo

DHL has acquired a 49 percent minority equity interest and a 24.9 percent voting interest in Miami-based ASTAR Air Cargo. DHL also extended its ACMI contract with the carrier through 2019. The fi nancial terms of DHL’s investment in Astar were not disclosed. DHL has contracted under its current ACMI arrangement with Astar for air […]


DHL has acquired a 49 percent minority equity interest and a 24.9 percent voting interest in Miami-based ASTAR Air Cargo. DHL also extended its ACMI contract with the carrier through 2019. The fi nancial terms of DHL’s investment in Astar were not disclosed. DHL has contracted under its current ACMI arrangement with Astar for air transportation services since 2003, when an investment group led by Astar chairman, president, and CEO John Dasburg purchased Astar. Astar operates a fl eet of 44 aircraft out of its Wilmington, Ohio hub, and has gateways in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.

Dasburg and the other senior Astar executives will continue in their current positions, with Dasburg as chairman, president & CEO. Hans Hickler, CEO of DHL Express USA, has joined the Astar board of directors.

When Astar (formerly DHL Airways) changed hands four years ago, FedEx and UPS accused DHL of fl outing US laws forbidding foreign control of US carriers. The authorities later ruled that ASTAR was in compliancewith the US law.

The recent acquisition is unlikely to incur protests from the same competitors, as the transaction has already been reviewed and approved by the DOT and has been found to be in compliance with current law and DOT policy related to foreign investment in US airlines.