Dublin-based airline group ASL Aviation has ordered up to 20 converted freighters from Boeing as it capitalizes on continued strong demand in the cargo market.
The company said it had placed 10 firm orders with the US aircraft manufacturer and had options for a further 10 converted 737-800 Freighter jets.
The order increases ASL’s converted 737-800 fleet to up to 40.
The jets will be converted by Boeing at facilities in China and the UK.
These transitions will begin mid-next year when existing orders from ASL are completed.
In 2019, ASL signed 10 firm orders and 10 options for converted 737-800 aircraft, the first of which entered service in January last year. It also turned the 10 options into orders.
ASL was acquired in 2019 by European fund manager Star Capital from Compagnie Maritime Belge and Belgian company 3P Air Freighters.
The latest aircraft ordered by the group will be allocated to ASL’s operations in Ireland, Belgium and France, as well as joint venture airlines in Asia, according to ASL.
“This new order is an important element of our fleet renewal program,” said Dave Andrew, ASL Chief Executive.
He said the 737-800 is an “excellent” fit for customer and operational needs.
The converted freighters offer increased reliability and performance, as well as better fuel economy, he added. They can carry almost 24 tons of cargo and have a range of up to 3,750 km.
ASL operates about a dozen unbranded aircraft on behalf of Amazon’s Prime Air. It also operates about six Boeing 737s in Prime Air livery.
ASL operates passenger air services from France to destinations such as Algeria, Morocco and Israel.
It also operates charter flights across Europe for French, English and Spanish tour operators.
The group has a fleet of 130 aircraft ranging from turboprops to jets.
ASL’s revenues fell from 1.1 billion euros in 2019 to 910 million euros in 2020 while recording a loss of 13.1 million euros.
Of the revenue in 2020, €147.5 million was generated in passenger transport.
That was down from €307.2 million in 2019.
Freight services revenue fell from €780.6 million in 2019 to €739 million in 2020, despite a surge in e-commerce sales as consumers went online during lockdown.
https://www.independent.ie/business/dublin-based-asl-aviation-orders-up-to-20-converted-cargo-jets-from-boeing-41517442.html Dublin-based ASL Aviation is ordering up to 20 converted cargo planes from Boeing