Coverage by Chris Sloan

PARIS – ASL Airlines Group has announced a Memorandum of Understanding for up to 20 Boeing 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF). This agreement includes 10 firm orders, with 10 purchase rights.

The ASL Airlines group is one of Europe’s leading cargo groups, transporting 357,000 metric tonnes of cargo last year.

ASL Airlines, also carry out passenger charter flights and wet-aircraft leases to airlines.

Boeing has predicted 2650 freighters will be needed over the next 20 years, 60% of these will be converted passenger aircraft, getting a second life.

Hugh Flynn, Chief Executive, ASL Aviation Holdings said in regards to the order, “Having operated two leased 737-800BCFs across our wide European network, we are very pleased with how the flexibility and reliability of these freighters fulfil our operational needs in meeting our customer requirements.”

He added, “The aircraft is highly efficient and right-sized for our developing operations on behalf of our express cargo customers who are experiencing growing demand. The 737-800BCF will also give us access to new markets.”

Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales & Marketing for The Boeing Company also said, “This order is a great testimonial of the unique capabilities of a 737-800 converted freighter.

“ASL Aviation has seen first-hand how this platform is perfectly suited to fly express cargo on domestic and short-haul routes. We are honoured that ASL Aviation is growing its business with the 737-800BCF.”

He added, “With more operators seeking out the 737-800BCF, we are looking to expand our conversion capacity to support our customers and their growth plans.”

The ASL Airlines Group consists of 4 airlines, ASL Airlines Ireland, ASL Airlines Belgium, ASL Airlines France and ASL Airlines Hungry.

They also help with the operations of Safair in South Africa, as well as South African Low-Cost Airline FlySafair.

Another important order for Boeing, as the manufacturer grows its order book for converted Boeing 737-800 aircraft to 120 orders and commitments, which shows that there is demand for a new generation of converted freighters, as airlines look to replace and supplement their 737 Classic counterparts.