East Midlands-headquartered ASL Airlines United Kingdom (ASLUK) has expanded its fleet with the addition of its first 737-800 Boeing converted freighter (BCF) as it looks to expand European operations.
The additional aircraft (G-OHJK) is the carrier’s second freighter – it also operates an ATR 72-200 – and began operations with a flight from Paris CDG to East Midlands and Belfast International.
The 23.9 tonnes capacity aircraft has a range of up to 3,750 km and will operate five days a week on the route.
It will primarily be used to carry express cargo and e-commerce freight.
John Rawl, managing director of ASL Airlines UK, said: “We are delighted to welcome our first B737-800BCF aircraft. This milestone is a positive statement of our confidence in the future of ASL UK and is a step forward as we continue to grow and strengthen our UK airline.
“Our new aircraft enhances our capabilities and reflects our commitment to our customer service by providing quality and reliable services across our cargo network.”
The airline was launched in 2021 in the aftermath of the UK leaving the European Union – it was the first fixed-wing operator to receive an AOC from the country’s Civil Aviation Authority after Brexit.
The airline is part of the wider ASL group, which also includes carriers in Belgium, France, Australia and Ireland. Adding a UK carrier will allow ASL to fly domestically in the UK.
Following Brexit, airlines had also been complaining about extra paperwork causing hold ups when conducting flights between the UK and Europe following Brexit, having options in both the UK and Europe should provide extra flexibility.
The aircraft has been acquired as part of ASL Aviation Holdings’ B737-800BCF fleet renewal programme, which offers higher reliability and lower fuel consumption and operating costs per flight.
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