ASL expands into Australia with Pionair acquisition

ASL Airlines Ireland B737-800BCF. Photo: ASL Aviation Holdings

ASL Aviation Holdings has acquired freighter operator Pionair as it expands into Australian and Oceania markets

ACMI provider Pionair has five main bases in Australia – Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Cairns – and has a focus on the express and e-retail sectors.

Its fleet consists of 12 aircraft including Embraer E190-E2’s and Bae 146/Avro regional jets. Its flight operations covers Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

The company will over time be rebranded as ASL Airlines Australia. 

ASL Aviation Holdings chief executive Dave Andrew said: “Expansion into the Australian and Oceania markets was a logical step for ASL as we develop our services globally to meet the needs of our customers.

“Pionair was a natural fit for us, with the same field of operations and a foundation of safety, reliability and quality that matches our fundamental customer service values aimed at providing a service that is better than our customers could have expected.”

ASL said there would be no job losses and Pionair owner and chief executive Steve Ferris will support ASL Airlines Australia with a continued leadership role.

Staff numbers will increase in line with ASL’s growth and expansion plans.

ASL has four operations in Europe – ASL Airlines Ireland, ASL Airlines Belgium, ASL Airlines France and ASL Airlines United Kingdom – as well as cargo airlines in Thailand and India and its South African low-cost passenger airline, FlySafair.

The company is halfway through a five-year fleet renewal programme that includes an agreement with Boeing for 40 B737-800BCF (Boeing Converted Freighters) conversion slots.

Converted aircraft are allocated to ASL airlines in Europe, Thailand and India and ASL expects to allocate a first B737-800BCF to ASL Airlines Australia as part of this programme.

Ferris added: “We fit perfectly into the ASL philosophy. We are in the same business segments; we operate for some of the same customers, and we strive to offer the best possible service.

“Now, as ASL Airlines Australia we will have the ability to grow and to develop our fleet and services.”

ASL Aviation Holdings’ acquisition of Pionair has received all required regulatory approvals and is effective immediately.

Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

Source: ASL

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]