ASL Airlines Australia inducts first B737-800 freighter

VH-CYK is the first 737 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) certified to operate in Australia.

ASL Airlines Australia inducts first B737-800 freighter
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ASL Airlines Australia (ASLA), part of the global market leading ASL Aviation Holdings, has announced the introduction of its first B737-800BCF, registered VH-CYK, to its fleet.

VH-CYK is the first 737 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) certified to operate in Australia.

The next-generation B737-800BCF is one of the industry’s most efficient and reliable platforms and carries up to 23.9 tonnes (52,900 pounds) of revenue payload, with 5,000ft3 available on the main deck (12 pallets) and a further 1,500ft3available in the bulk cargo hold.

The first ASLA B737-800 freighter is set to offer cost-efficient new opportunities to air cargo customers in the Australian domestic and international markets, with its capability to move both express parcels and larger cargo speedily with a range up to 3,750 kilometres or 2,025 nautical miles.

ASL Airlines Australia (ASLA) has added the B737-800BCF to its fleet following a revision to its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia (CASA). This followed a 12-month project which saw delivery of VH-CYK to the airline in February 2024, issuance of a Certificate of Airworthiness in March, and a successful AOC variation proving flight under CASA oversight in April this year.

“Given the unique capabilities of the aircraft, ASLA is already in discussion with customers and expects to operate its first commercial revenue flights soon. This is the first B737-800 in the ASLA fleet, and the airline expects to grow the fleet, adding aircraft over time to meet customer requirements,” reads the release.

This first aircraft was part of ASL Aviation Holdings’ B737-800 Boeing conversion programme which includes slots for 40 aircraft to be converted and placed into operation in ASL’s airlines in Ireland, France, Belgium, Thailand, India and now Australia.

ASL Aviation Holdings acquired Pionair Australia in 2023 and rebranded the airline as ASLA later in that year. ASLA currently operates a fleet of BAe146 aircraft and provides night freight services on the east coast of Australia, serving Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, and Cairns. Operations are performed for Qantas Freight on behalf of FedEx and Australia Post.

ASL Aviation Holdings is a leading global aviation services provider, serving more than 150 airports worldwide with a fleet of 160 aircraft in eight cargo and passenger airlines in Europe, Australia, Asia and South Africa. ASL Aviation Holdings is the largest operator of B737 freighters globally and specialises in express overnight freight on behalf of global customers including FedEx, UPS, DHL and Amazon.

It reads, “The B737-800BCF carries a greater payload faster, over longer distances than its predecessor, the B737-400 Classic. It is also more fuel efficient and emits 15% less carbon. This supports ASL’s commitment to sustainability and to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.”

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