ASL Airlines prepares 1st converted Boeing 737 for Amazon flights
ASL Airlines, the Irish operator of scheduled freight services, plans to operate its Boeing 737-800BCF (Boeing Converted Freighter) on behalf of Amazon Prime Air, the giant of the e-commerce services. ASL Airlines would become the first carrier in Europe to operate its jet painted in Amazon livery and the newest airline-partner of an American internet sales company.
According to Planespotters.com, before being added to ASL Airlines fleet, the 737-800 was flying for Irish low-cost airline Ryanair under the lease agreement with GECAS, the leasing company, from December 2002 until December 2019. Then, the almost 18-year-old passenger aircraft was ferried for conversion. On September 25, 2020, the jet, registered as El-DAD, became the first Boeing 737-800 cargo plane of ASL Airlines.
Officially, ASL Airlines has only one Boeing 737-800BCF in its fleet, but the airline expects to add two more cargo aircraft in the near future. Both planes, registered as EI-DAF and EI-DAC, would have the same conversion story as their predecessor EI-DAD. Planespotters.com data showed that EL-DAF, as well as EL-DAC, have been operating for Ryanair in the period of 2002-2019 and 2003-2020. After being modified into freighters, both of Boeing 737-800BCFs now are waiting for their turn to be transferred to ASL Airlines.
On October 20, 2020, multiple sources reported that ASL Airlines would operate Amazon Prime Air flights with its first Boeing 737-800BCF in Amazon livery. However, the airline has not specified yet if two more converted jets, which are expected to be arriving soon, would be also operating cargo flights on behalf of Amazon Prime Air.
The air carrier continues to grow its business since June 2019, when the airline and the manufacturer signed a Memorandum of Understanding for 20 Boeing 737-800BCFs.
The agreement included 10 firm orders with 10 purchase rights of the 737-800BCF aircraft. At the time the order was made, different media sources speculated that the measure was taken in order to be poised for closer cooperation with Amazon Prime Air as the e-retail giant was building its air network in Europe.
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