ASL Airlines United Kingdom's first cargo flight takes off
ASL Airlines United Kingdom has received its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and its operating licence from the UK Civil Aviation Authority, becoming the world’s newest cargo airline.
This is the first fixed-wing AOC issued by the CAA post Brexit and ASL Airlines UK has now taken its place in the ASL Aviation Holdings group of airlines which already includes four European airlines and two associated non-European airlines.
The new airline’s first flight was operated by an ATR72-200 freighter from East Midlands Airport to Belfast International Airport. The aircraft, registered G-OASL, became the first aircraft on the AOC and it will operate to Belfast International Airport daily from ASL Airlines UK’s new base at East Midlands.
“Our decision to establish a UK airline was customer focussed,” said Colin Grant, chief operating officer of ASL Aviation Holdings.
“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,” Grant added.
Currently the ASL Airlines UK AOC is for the operation of cargo flights on a single route, but the airline is looking at opportunities to grow its domestic UK network and is applying for an EASA Third Country Operator (TCO) authorisation for cargo flights from the UK to Europe.
ASL UK will be closely aligned to ASL Airlines Ireland with common SOPs and shared support services. This corresponds to ASL Group’s programme to harmonise operations, remove unnecessary duplication and the creation of ‘centres of excellence’ serving all airlines.
“The launch of ASL Airlines UK further strengthens our customer offering as a leading global aviation services provider,” said Dave Andrew, chief executive of ASL Aviation Holdings.
“We will continue to explore opportunities to grow by offering all customers, new and old, a neutral service with the agility to deliver, develop and grow according to their requirements,” Andrew continued.
ASL Airlines United Kingdom’s ICAO 3 letter designator is ABV and its callsign is CARGOBLUE.