ASL Airlines Australia Introduces First B737-800 Freighter

Dublin, Ireland and Sydney, Australia- May 20 2024: 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.

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.

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.


About ASL Airlines Australia

On April 3rd, 2023, ASL Aviation Holdings confirmed that it had acquired Australian airline, Pionair, Australia’s leading independent provider of charter and ACMI services. The Sydney based airline will continue to operate as a proudly Australian airline.

Pionair has been re-branded as ASL Airlines Australia (ASLA) in common with ASL Group’s European airlines ASL Airlines Ireland, ASL Airlines Belgium, ASL Airlines France and ASL Airlines United Kingdom.

Established in 2000, the airline offers passenger and cargo charter and ACMI services across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

With its headquarters and main operational hub based at Bankstown Airport, Sydney, Pionair has four other operating hubs across Australia in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns and Melbourne.

ASLA offers a business-to-business ACMI and Charter model, and supports many sectors such as Tourism, Air Cargo, Dangerous goods transport, FIFO (Fly in fly out) and additional capacity for regional carriers.


About ASL Aviation Holdings

ASL Aviation Holdings, a global aviation services company with eight airlines based in Europe, South Africa, Asia and Australia is a world leader in ACMI airline operations and both scheduled and charter cargo and passenger services.

Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, ASL’s airlines include ASL Airlines Ireland, ASL Airlines Belgium, ASL Airlines France and ASL Airlines United Kingdom in Europe. Since April 2023 the group also includes ASL Airlines Australia, formerly known as Pionair.

ASL also has an associate low-cost passenger airline, FlySafair, in South Africa and joint venture cargo airlines K-Mile Asia in Thailand and Quikjet Airlines in India.

ASL Aviation Holdings airlines operate cargo services for the world’s leading express parcel integrators and eCommerce retailers. Group airlines also operate scheduled and charter cargo and services under its own airline brands on domestic, international, and intercontinental routes in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North America and Africa.

ASL has a global team of 3,000 people of 51 nationalities. The Group has a fleet of 160 aircraft that includes 7 aircraft types ranging from the turbo-prop ATR 72 to the Boeing 747.


Media Contacts:

ASL Airlines Australia
Stefan Oechsner
 +61 (0)43 133 3240


ASL Aviation Holdings
Andrew Kelly
+353 85 711 7711


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ASL Airlines Australia Introduces First B737-800 Freighter