ASL Airlines UK takes off with freighter operations

Cargo carrier ASL Airlines UK has operated its first flight after receiving its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and operating licence from the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

The carrier’s first flight was operated by an ATR72-200 freighter aircraft from East Midlands Airport to Belfast International Airport.

The aircraft will operate to Belfast International Airport daily from ASL Airlines UK’s new base at East Midlands.

ASL Airlines UK said its UK AOC is for the operation of cargo flights on a single route, but it is looking at opportunities to grow its domestic UK network and is applying for an EASA Third Country Operator (TCO) authorisation for cargo flights from the UK to Europe.

The carrier added that it will be closely aligned to ASL Airlines Ireland with common standard operating procedures and shared support services.

“This corresponds to ASL Group’s programme to harmonise operations, remove unnecessary duplication and the creation of ‘centres of excellence’ serving all airlines,” the company said.

Dave Andrew, chief executive of ASL Aviation Holdings, commented: “The launch of ASL Airlines UK further strengthens our customer offering as a leading global aviation services provider.

“We will continue to explore opportunities to grow by offering all customers, new and old, a neutral service with the agility to deliver, develop and grow according to their requirements.”

 Colin Grant, chief operating officer at ASL Aviation Holdings, added: “Our decision to establish a UK airline was customer focussed. 

“We want to offer our customers flexibility in their route planning when they want to operate domestically in the UK, or, in time, to fly from the UK to the EU.”

The move comes following the UK’s exit from the European Union at the start of the year.

Adding a UK carrier will allow ASL to fly domestically in the UK. Airlines have also been complaining about extra paperwork causing hold ups when conducting flights between the UK and Europe, having options in both the UK and Europe should provide extra flexibility.

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