ASL Aviation Holdings’ cargo airline operating from the United Kingdom has doubled its fleet to two aircraft with the addition of a used 737-800 jet converted by Boeing from passenger to freighter configuration.
The company said Thursday that the Boeing 737-800 converted freighter conducted its first revenue flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to its base at East Midlands and then on to Belfast, Ireland. The plane will conduct shuttle runs five days a week.
ASL Airlines United Kingdom received its operating authority in 2021 and previously operated a single ATR 72-200 turboprop.
ASL Aviation has several larger subsidiaries in Europe that operate cargo jets on behalf of express carriers such as Amazon Air (NASDAQ: AMZN), FedEx Express (NYSE: FDX), DHL Aviation and UPS (NYSE: UPS). It also has airlines in India and Thailand and recently acquired a small all-cargo carrier in Australia.
The ASL Group has more than 140 aircraft, including the world’s largest fleet of 737-800 freighters.
ASL is halfway through a five-year fleet renewal program that includes reservations with Boeing for production slots to convert 40 used 737-800 passenger jets to full-time freighters. Some of those planes are in service with ASL Airlines France and other subsidiaries.
ASL Airlines United Kingdom operates under the support umbrella of sister company ASL Airlines Ireland, which is much larger.
“At this point we have no confirmed plans for additional aircraft, but further growth is expected” for ASL Aviation United Kingdom, said corporate spokesman Andrew Kelly.
Boeing is retrofitting the 737-800s for main-deck cargo at licensed, third-party repair facilities in China and the United Kingdom.
The 737-800 converted freighter is up to 15% more fuel-efficient and produces fewer carbon emissions than the 737-400. It can carry up to 52,800 pounds and fly up to 2,025 nautical miles.
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