ASL Aviation Holdings has confirmed an order with Boeing for up to 20 additional 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF). The announcement made at the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) Annual Conference in Malta is for 10 firm orders and 10 options.
This order, including options, will bring the number of aircraft in the 737-800BCF programme to 40 aircraft for ASL. The aircraft will be converted by Boeing at the approved MRO suppliers STAECO in Jinan, China and at Boeing’s MRO facility at London Gatwick Airport in the United Kingdom.
Conversions are expected to start in Q2 2023 following the completion of ASL’s existing backlog for 737-800BCF conversions. The aircraft will be allocated to ASL’s airlines in Ireland, Belgium and France in Europe and joint venture airlines in Asia.
ASL Aviation Holdings Chief Executive Dave Andrew said, “This new order is an important element of our fleet renewal programme, and we are delighted to expand our partnership with Boeing on the 737-800BCF. The aircraft has proven itself to be an excellent fit with our customer and operational requirements throughout our European network of 100 airports. The 737-800BCF offers increased reliability and performance, and equally its lower fuel burn reduces our environmental footprint. This is very important to ASL as an aviation group committed to environmental sustainability in aviation.”
“We are honoured to play a crucial role in the fleet renewal underway across ASL Aviation Holdings’ operation,” said Jens Steinhagen, Director of Boeing Converted Freighters. “Boeing Converted Freighters support progress towards sustainability goals by providing operators like those under the ASL Group umbrella an economical way to replace less efficient, older-generation freighters.”
ASL announced its first 10 firm orders and 10 options for 737-800BCF aircraft at the Paris Air show in June 2019. The first aircraft entered service with ASL Airlines France in January 2021 and ASL confirmed the 10 options the following month. So far ASL has taken re-delivery of 11 737-800BCF as part of its initial orders, and they are now operating for ASL Airlines Belgium, ASL Airlines France and ASL joint-venture airline, K-Mile Asia, based in Bangkok, Thailand. Two aircraft are undergoing conversion, and the remaining seven will follow, with the 20th aircraft expected to enter service by early 2023.
The 737-800BCF meets ASL customer requirements for a next generation freighter that offers higher reliability and lower fuel consumption and operating costs per flight. The aircraft are used primarily by ASL’s airlines to transport express cargo and e-commerce freight and can carry up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 pounds) with a range up to 3,750 kilometres (2,025 nautical miles).