ASL takes up options on 10 more B737 cargo conversions

By Damian Brett

Lessor and operator ASL Aviation Holdings will take up 10 options for the B737-800 Boeing converted freighter to meet integrator demand.

ASL said the B737-800BCF aircraft will be operated mainly by ASL’s European airlines and will be introduced to meet the requirements of ASL’s express integrator customers.

This deal follows the original agreement with Boeing for 10 firm orders and 10 options, announced at the Paris Air Show in June 2019.

ASL Aviation Holdings chief executive Dave Andrew said: “The performance and reliability of the B737-800BCF make it the perfect fit for our combined fleet renewal and growth programmes and so we have moved to confirm our 10 options earlier than planned.

“The aircraft offers an excellent option for our express cargo customers as they develop their networks to meet demand in the years ahead.

“It is ‘right-sized’ in payload and range and offers the improved carbon efficiency that ASL and our customers see as an essential element in fleet planning as we aim for future carbon neutrality.”

The first B737-800BCF aircraft for ASL was delivered and entered service last month with ASL Airlines France.

The second aircraft will be accepted by ASL’s joint-venture airline, K-Mile Asia this month and is expected to enter service in early April from its Bangkok Suvarnabhumi base. This will be the first B737-800BCF registered in Thailand.

Four aircraft are currently under conversion, and another two aircraft are due for induction in the coming weeks.

The B737-800BCF is up to 15% more fuel efficient and has lower CO2 per tonne than the B737-400SF.

The aircraft is primarily used to carry express cargo on domestic or short-haul routes. It is capable of carrying up to 23.9 tonnes and flying up to 3,750 km.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with ASL Aviation Holdings, which began at the Paris Air Show and was highlighted recently by their first 737-800BCF entering service,” said Jens Steinhagen, director of Boeing freighter conversions.

In 2020 ASL airlines transported 810,000 tonnes of cargo globally on customer ACMI flights and ASL’s own scheduled flights.

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