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 90,000 employees provide services to more than 2.5 million customers.
Our main product is Time Definite International (TDI), which is a service 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 consisting of several airlines, some of which we own 100 %. The combination of our own and purchased capacities, which include varied terms of contract, allows us to respond flexibly to fluctuating demand. The following Figure illustrates how our available capacity is organised and offered on the market. The largest buyer of this freight capacity is the DHL Global Forwarding business unit.
In the reporting year, we signed an agreement with Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH to convert four Airbus A 330-300 aircraft from passenger to cargo planes. They will be used predominantly to cover the medium to high demand for cargo space capacity, which will both increase our flexibility and improve our fuel efficiency per kilogram flown. Furthermore, we put additional Boeing 757 aircraft into operation as part of our fleet renewal activities.
The international express business is benefiting from cross-border e-commerce and the growing importance of small and medium-sized enterprises in international trade. The strong volume growth of our TDI product compared with the competition indicates that we have maintained our position as global market leader.
In the Europe region, we have completed the expansion of our global hub in Leipzig. Since beginning expansion activities at the end of 2013, 1,300 new jobs have been created at that location.
In the Americas region, we opened more than 500 new service points in 2016 and, specifically in light of growing e-commerce volumes, hired over 600 new employees. The expansion of our global hub in Cincinnati was also completed, including space for 16 additional aircraft.
In June 2016, a new gateway in Japan was put into operation in the important Asia Pacific market. In the fourth quarter, we also opened our South Asia Hub in Singapore. It is the first hub in the industry in South Asia to have a fully automated Express parcel sorting and processing system. In order to improve trade relations with Cambodia and better connect the country internationally, a new flight was introduced between Phnom Penh and Bangkok, one of our hubs in the Asia Pacific region.
In the MEA (Middle East and Africa) region, the Middle East continued to suffer from enormous geopolitical influences in 2016. Despite the situation, we were able to maintain our operations whilst adhering to legal requirements and ensuring the safety of our employees. We opened another facility in Jeddah in order to support global trade to and from Saudi Arabia. We are also the first international logistics provider to offer our customers a direct flight to the harbour city. In the sub-Saharan region, we opened a new facility in Uganda to accommodate the increase in volumes.