In the Express division, we transport urgent documents and goods reliably and on time from door to door. Our global network spans more than 220 countries and territories in which some 100,000 employees provide services to 2.7 million customers.
With the main product, Time Definite International (TDI), we provide services with a pre-defined delivery time. We also provide industry-specific services to complement this product. For example, our Medical Express transport solution, which is tailored specifically to customers in the Life Sciences & Healthcare sector, offers various types of thermal packaging for temperature-controlled, chilled and frozen content. Collect and Return is used predominantly by customers in high-tech industries: technical products are collected from the user, taken in for repairs and then returned.
As an express service provider, we operate a global network that includes several airlines, some of which we own 100 %. The combination of our own and purchased capacities, which include varied contract periods, allows us to respond flexibly to fluctuating demand. The following figure illustrates how the available freight capacity is organised and offered on the market. The largest buyer of the available freight capacities is the DHL Global Forwarding business unit.
In the year under review, we signed another agreement with Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH to convert an additional four Airbus A330-300s from passenger aircraft to cargo planes. Similar to the aircraft already converted, the newly converted planes will be used to cover medium to high-demand levels for cargo space capacity, which will both increase our flexibility and improve our fuel efficiency per kilogram transported.
The international express business is benefiting from cross-border e-commerce and the growing importance of small and medium-sized enterprises in international trade. In 2016, we had a market share of 38 % based upon TDI revenues.
The European market leadership of 44 % in 2016 encourages us to keep expanding the network in the region. In the year under review, we took new hubs into operation at the existing sites in London and Brussels and opened Germany’s largest (in terms of area) Express distribution centre in Hamburg. We shall also substantially enlarge our hub at East Midlands airport in the United Kingdom, thus significantly increasing throughput capacity.
Our market share in the Americas region amounted to 20 % in 2016. In the year under review, we opened a total of more than 1,000 service points there, established additional service centres in Mexico and expanded our gateway in Mexico City.
In the Asia Pacific region, our expanded gateway went into operation at the New Delhi airport in India. We also began upgrading our Hong Kong hub, incorporating additional technical innovations. It will be expanded further in the coming years. Our market share of 49 % in 2016 illustrates the importance of the Asia Pacific market for us.
In the MEA (Middle East and Africa) region, the Middle East continued to suffer in 2017 from the sometimes unstable political situation. We were nonetheless able to maintain our operations whilst adhering to legal requirements and ensuring the safety of our employees. Flight frequency to Cairo was increased and capacity was doubled at the Dubai hub.