First ASL Airlines B737-800BCF enters service in France
The first aircraft in the ASL Airlines Boeing 737-800BCF programme has entered service for ASL Airlines France. F-HIQB, MSN 33641, is the first B737-800 freighter to be operated by a French airline and it made its first revenue flight on December 9. ASL Airlines France also operates two B737-800 passenger aircraft.
The aircraft is the first of 10 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF) announced by Boeing and ASL Aviation Holdings at the last Paris Air Show. It was converted by STAECO, the Shandong Taikoo Aircraft Engineering Company in Jinan, China in a process that also included the overhaul of the engines and an avionics upgrade. It then positioned to Paris via Ekaterinburg, Russia, and Vilnius, Lithuania, arriving in CDG on November 28.
Previously operated by Turkish airline Pegasus as a passenger aircraft, the aircraft arrived in Jinan, China on July 15 for conversion and standardisation. F-HIQB will be based in Paris-CDG and the B737-800BCF has a capacity of 178 cubic metres with 11 and a half positions on the upper deck and a range of 3,250 nautical miles. It joins the ASL Airlines fleet of 19 B737 aircraft including -400, -700 and -800 variants.
Conversion work has already started in Jinan on aircraft two and three in the ASL BCF programme, and aircraft four has arrived at the Shandong facility. In addition to the 10 firm orders, ASL also holds another 10 options for Boeing Converted Freighters.