A Dublin-based aviation group has signed has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with aircraft manufacturer Boeing for the purchase of twenty (20) 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF).
The agreement between ASL and Boeing includes 10 firm orders and 10 purchase rights. The deal was announced at the Paris Air Show this week.
ASL Airlines Ireland, part of the ASL Aviation Holdings DAC, operates cargo services from Shannon to the UK and Europe as well as flying scheduled passenger operations on behalf of Aer Lingus to New York and Boston.
Hugh Flynn, Chief Executive of Swords-based ASL Aviation Holdings said: “Having operated two leased 737-800 BCFs across our wide European network, we are very pleased with how the flexibility and reliability of these freighters fulfill our operational needs in meeting our customer requirement. 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.”
Operating on six continents, ASL provides network solutions to express freight integrators, transporting more than 357,000 metric tonnes of cargo in 2018.
Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales & Marketing for The Boeing Company 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.”
“With more operators seeking out the 737-800BCF, we are looking to expand our conversion capacity to support our customers and their growth plans,” Mr Mounir added.
Boeing recently inaugurated new conversion lines at Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services (BSAS) and Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering Company (STAECO), while looking to expand further. The program is committed to more than double 737-800BCF output this year, going from eight conversions in 2018 to 17 in 2019.
Boeing predicts that 2,650 freighters will be delivered between 2018-2037, with more than 60 percent of these deliveries comprised of passenger-to-freighter conversions.
Already operating on four continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America) after entering service last year, the 737-800BCF is certified by various global regulators: the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the European Aviation Safety Agency, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency.
The 737-800BCF carries more payload – up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 lbs.) – and flies farther – 2,000 nautical miles (3,750 km) compared to 737 Classic freighters. It also offers operators improved fuel efficiency, lower operating cost, and higher reliability than previous standard-body freighters.