The British newcomer is Dublin-based ASL Aviation Holdings’ latest group member. It recently obtained its AOC from the UK Civil Aviation Authority and operated its first flight connecting East Midlands Airport and Belfast in Northern Ireland. Deployed on this route was an ATR72-200 freighter (Reg: G-OASL), up to now the only aircraft belonging to the fleet.
Despite serious problems in global aviation caused by the ongoing pandemic, the inception of new airlines continues unabated. In South Korea, low-cost carrier Aero K announced that it will be operating soon, although somewhat later than previously planned. On the opposite side of the globe, ASL Airlines United Kingdom just achieved its first push-back; “the world’s newest cargo airline”, as emphasized in a release published by its Irish parent company. During its initial phase, the AOC obtained by ASL Airlines UK allows for operations of cargo flights only on the route East Midlands-Belfast.
Network expansion envisaged
However, the carrier aims to widen its network offering cargo flights between the UK and Europe, once an EASA Third Country Operator (TCO) authorization has been obtained.
“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,” Colin Grant, Chief Operating Officer of ASL Aviation Holdings, said.
According to the parent company, the UK subsidiary will be closely aligned to ASL Airlines Ireland based on Standard Operating Procedures and shared support services. This corresponds to ASL Group’s program to harmonize operations, remove unnecessary duplication, and create ‘centers of excellence’ serving all members of the Group.
“The launch of ASL Airlines UK further strengthens our customer offering as a leading global aviation services provider,” stated Dave Andrew, Chief Executive of ASL Aviation Holdings. That said, he announced that ASL will continue to explore growth opportunities “by offering all customers neutral service with the agility to deliver, develop and grow according to their requirements.”
ASL UK is the Irish Aviation Holdings group’s fifth European airline member which also includes two associated non-European carriers. Its ICAO 3 letter designator is ABV and its callsign is CARGOBLUE.
Asked for a photo displaying the ATR freighter, Andrew Kelly, Group Director Corporate Affairs, ASL Aviation Holdings replied: “Under normal circumstances, we would have a picture of an aircraft in a new airline. However, we are being very circumspect about sending people to airports, or anywhere else for that matter during lockdown.”
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