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DUBLINIrish leasing company ASL Aviation Holdings DAC (ASL) has confirmed that it is taking up 10 options for the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter. This follows the original agreement with Boeing (NYSE: BA) for 10 firm orders and 10 options, announced at the Paris Air Show in June 2019.

The first 737-800BCF aircraft for ASL was delivered and entered service last month with ASL Airlines France. The second aircraft will be accepted by ASL’s joint-venture airline, K-Mile Asia this month and is expected to enter service in early April from its Bangkok Suvarnabhumi base. This will be the first 737-800BCF registered in Thailand. Four aircraft are currently under conversion, and another two aircraft are due for induction in the coming weeks.

“The performance and reliability of the 737-800BCF make it the perfect fit for our combined fleet renewal and growth programs and so we have moved to confirm our 10 options earlier than planned”, said ASL Aviation Holdings Chief Executive, Dave Andrew.

Dave continued, “the aircraft offers an excellent option for our express cargo customers as they develop their networks to meet demand in the years ahead. It is ‘right-sized’ in payload and range and offers the improved carbon efficiency that ASL and our customers see as an essential element in fleet planning as we aim for future carbon neutrality”.

The 737-800BCF is up to 15% more fuel-efficient and has lower CO2 per tonne than the 737-400SF. Based on the popular Next-Generation 737, the 737-800BCF is meeting customer demand for a newer-generation freighter that offers higher reliability and lower fuel consumption and operating costs per trip compared to other standard body freighters. Primarily used to carry express cargo on domestic or short-haul routes, the airplane is capable of carrying up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 pounds) and flying up to 3,750 kilometers (2,025 nautical miles).

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with ASL Aviation Holdings, which began at the Paris Air Show and was highlighted recently by their first 737-800BCF entering service," said Jens Steinhagen, director of Boeing freighter conversions. "We look forward to seeing how their growing fleet takes advantage of the 737-800BCF's market-leading reliability and efficiency."

In 2020 ASL airlines transported 810,000 tonnes of cargo globally on customer ACMI flights and ASL’s own scheduled flights. The 737-800BCF aircraft will be operated mainly by ASL’s European airlines and will be introduced to meet the requirements of ASL’s express integrator customers.

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