Hercules Strikes Back as a film star

    Air Contractors' Hercules EI-JIV is back as an unlikely film star

    The Air Contractors Hercules EI-JIV once again became a film production star when it was flown to Budapest for 4 days to be used as a focal part of filming for the 4th series of the Sky drama series “Strike Back”. The plot features jeeps, guns, villains and goodies and of course the Hercules, which takes centre stage for some interesting chase scenes on the runway. This is a must see role for EI-JIV and work continues on securing the next big part hopefully for a Hollywood blockbuster.

    Strike Back is a British action and military television series, based on a novel of the same name by novelist and former Special Air Service (SAS) soldier Chris Ryan. The series follows the actions of Section 20, a secretive branch of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), who operate several high risk, priority missions throughout the globe.

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Last DHL A300-B4 flight

    After fifteen years of service with Air Contractors, the last DHL A300-B4 flight operated from Basel to Leipzig on Friday 28th June.

    After fifteen years of service with Air Contractors, the last DHL A300­‐B4 flight operated from Basel to Leipzig on Friday 28th June. EI-­‐SAF entered service with Eastern Airlines in 1982 and has been in service with Air Contractors and DHL since 2001. In total Air Contractors operated a fleet of sixteen different A300­‐B4s. This flight also marked the end of an era of jet aircraft operated with Flight Engineers.

    Air Contractors continues to operate the successor to the B4, the A300-­600 for DHL in Hong Kong.

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Announcing Boeing 757 contract with Aer Lingus

    Air Contractors has signed a contract with Aer Lingus to operate three Boeing 757 aircraft on transatlantic routes between Ireland and New York, Boston and Toronto.

    Air Contractors is very pleased to announce that it will be wet leasing three Boeing 757 aircraft to Aer Lingus for transatlantic routes beginning in January 2014. The three aircraft will be operating routes from Shannon and Dublin to New York, Boston and Toronto.

    This is a natural extension of the existing passenger operations that Air Contractors has been flying for several years. The additional capabilities in the ACMI passenger market are seen as key to the future expansion of the airline.

    It is anticipated that this new venture will generate a total of 200 new jobs across all the parties involved

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Jumping from the Hercules

    First sky-diving flight for Hercules EI-JIV over the East Midlands in the UK

    Hercules EI-JIV made it's first sky-diving flight on Wednesday 10th July from East Midlands Airport in the UK. Eighty five sky-divers flew to an altitude of 12,000ft over the East Midlands before jumping out of the rear ramp of the aircraft. It was a spectacular sight as all successfully left the aircraft to free-fall towards Sibson Airfield near Peterborough.

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Evolution of ACL tail livery

    Our latest aircraft to go through the paint-shop rolled out of Air Livery in East Midlands this week proudly sporting it's new tail livery.

    Air Contractors is a bold and agile airline which is personified by the striking new application of the ACL chevron on the tail of EI-SLA.

    The revised livery has the ACL chevron tilted upwards and forwards symbolising the progressive nature of the airline which is constantly seeking ways to improve on all aspects of it's operation.

    EI-SLA, an ATR42, had a complete re-paint during its visit to Air Livery at East Midlands Airport. The aircraft has already entered into service and is operating for FedEx on a route out of Oslo.

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Successful launch of Boeing 757 service

    Maiden return transatlantic flight of the first Boeing 757 in the Air Contractors fleet.

    Wednesday 5th February marked the maiden commercial transatlantic flight for Air Contractors when it flew from Shannon airport on the West of Ireland to Boston Massachusetts in the USA, operating on behalf of Aer Lingus.

    The aircraft, EI-LBR, a Boeing 757, is the first of three that will operate daily from Ireland to the USA and Canada serving Boston, New York and Toronto.

    It’s a new chapter for Air Contractors as it expands into the longer haul passenger market, building on the European passenger operations for the past four years and over forty years of express freight business.

    Many months of preparation has seen the company build on its existing skill base and to be awarded the first ETOPS (Extended Twin Engine Operations) certificate in Ireland for over twenty years is a significant achievement.

    We look forward to building on this exciting partnership with Aer Lingus

    Pictured : Grainne Frawley, Captain Leo Smith, Christoph Meuller - CEO Aer Lingus, Hugh Flynn - Group CEO ASL Aviation Group, Lesley Murphy

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New partnership with Afriqiyah

    Air Contractors and Afriqiyah Airways announce partnership for European passenger flights

    Under its new agreement, Air Contractors (ACL) will partner with Afriqiyah Airways (AAW), to operate aircraft from AAW’s headquarters in Tripoli to Europe. The operation will significantly benefit from ACL’s extensive experience of operating aircraft within Europe. AAW currently operates a fleet of A320 and A330 aircraft.

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Group Annual Report
Air Contractors operating for Ryanair

    Passenger flying for Europe's largest carrier

    Air Contractors is very pleased to announce the start of an eleven week operation for Ryanair utilising a pair of Boeing 737-400 aircraft.

    The aircraft will be operating from Dublin to a variety of European destinations including Gdansk, Budapest, Bratislava and Vilnius.

    Ryanair will be pleased to address any operational queries via the Customer Services page on their website which can be found here: http://www.ryanair.com/ie/questions/contacting-customer-service/

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Saluting early transatlantic aviators

    Air Contractors will salute the pioneers of transatlantic passenger air transport at a celebratory anniversary airshow in Foynes in July

    Seventy five years ago the first commercial flight across the North Atlantic was operated by Pan American Airways when the ‘Yankee Clipper’ flew from New York to Foynes, Co. Limerick. This key moment in aviation history will be celebrated with a special two-day event on July 5th and 6th organised by the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum.

    The event will include a concert, gala dinner and fireworks display on Saturday 5th and events on Sunday 6th will include a three hour air show over the river. Special guests will include Frank Gray, son of Captain Harold Gray who was the captain of the ‘Yankee Clipper’.

    Air Contractors is delighted to confirm that one of the airlines ATR-42 aircraft based just across the river in Shannon Airport will participate in the air show.

    In February this year Air Contractors operated its first Boeing 757 trans-Atlantic service for Aer Lingus from Shannon to Boston, and the following month a second B757 began flying between Shannon and New York.
    Colin Grant, Chief Executive of Air Contractors said “Aviation in the Mid-West has come a long way in a short 75 years, from the ‘Yankee Clipper’ in Foynes to our own two daily round-trip flights between Shannon and the United States, operated for Aer Lingus”.
    “We are committed to Shannon, with ATR and Boeing 737 cargo aircraft based in the airport as well as two of our three Boeing 757’s. This year we also opened our new hangar in Shannon and we hope to continue to build our business and to strengthen our relationships in the Airport and the Shannon region.”

    Hugh Flynn, Chief Executive of ASL Aviation Group, one of the sponsors of the event, said “Aviation is a special industry and it is right that we should celebrate the amazing achievements of the last 75 years, and the people who opened up transatlantic air travel as such a vitally important business, tourism and family link”.

    “The Foynes Museum itself is a remarkable achievement and its deserves our support for the excellent way in which it portrays and honours the pioneers of what, for us, has become the everyday possibility of trans-Atlantic flying”.

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Our customer Aer Lingus thanks all for being part of 2014
ERA Group meets in Dublin

    The first 2015 meeting of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) Industry Affairs Group was jointly hosted by ASL and Air Contractors. The meeting took place over two days in ASL’s Corporate Office in Swords, County Dublin.

    11 European airlines attended the meeting and other attendees included airport representatives from Shannon and Rotterdam The Hague Airport. Aircraft manufacturers and other aviation services providers were also represented at the meeting.

    Speakers at the meeting included Sabine Hornig, International Air Transport Association (IATA), Patricia Barton, Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR), Ethna Brogan, Department of Transport, Ireland and Deirdre Clune, MEP, Member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament. The meeting was opened by Colin Grant, Chief Executive of Air Contractors.

    ERA’s reputation, strength and influence spans more than three decades and the organisation now represents 53 airlines and over 120 service providers including airframe and engine manufacturers, airports, suppliers and service providers from all over Europe.

    ERA works on behalf of its members to represent their interests before Europe’s major regulatory bodies and plays a key role in raising the profile and importance of regional air transport to the economic and social development of Europe through lobbying and communication campaigns.

    Three ASL companies are members of ERA; Air Contractors (Ireland), Farnair (Switzerland) and ACLAS Global (United Kingdom).

    ERA’s groups provide unique opportunities for ERA members to directly influence ERA's policy and technical activities with the European Commission, European Parliament, the European Aviation Safety Agency, Eurocontrol and the European Civil Aviation Conference as well and other government authorities and institutions.

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Air Contractors shortlisted for Aviation Industry Awards

    Air Contractors is delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the 2015 Aviation Industry Awards in the 'Aircraft Operator' category.

    These Awards are sponsored by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).

    Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday, May 28th at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4. The awards ceremony will be attended by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe, TD and key figures in the Irish aviation industry. Richard Curran, presenter Dragons’ Den, journalist and broadcaster, will be the Master of Ceremonies.

    For more information see the The Aviation Industry Awards 2015 website. http://www.aviationawards.ie/

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Air Contractors wins top aviation award

    Air Contractors has been named the ‘Aircraft Operator of the Year’ at the Irish Aviation Authority sponsored Irish Aviation Awards.

    The award was presented at a gala awards event in Dublin and Air Contractors won the prestigious accolade against very strong competition from major Irish and international top brand airlines.

    In making the award the judges recognised the many significant achievements by Air Contractors in 2014, including the launch of B757 transatlantic services for Aer Lingus, seasonal summer B737 flying for Ryanair and the resumption of European flights for Afriqiyah Airways with A320s.

    All were achieved while the airline continued to offer the highest standards of service to its express integrator and tour operator customers.

    The award was presented by the Irish Minister for Transport, Mr Paschal Donohoe T.D. and accepted by Mr Hugh Flynn, Chief Executive, ASL Aviation Group, Mr Colin Grant, Chief Executive, Air Contractors and Mr John Rawl, Chief Operating Officer, Air Contractors.

    Speaking afterwards Colin Grant said “this award is deserved recognition for the hard work, talent and commitment that the Air Contractors team demonstrate every day in delivering the best possible quality product to our customers.”

    “It is always pleasing to be recognised by our peers", he continued, “and winning such a prestigious award is a warranted tribute to the people throughout the airline who are dedicated to our success and the success of our customers.”

    The ASL Aviation Group Chief Executive, Hugh Flynn, said “I am immensely proud of the entire team at Air Contractors who have been doing such a fantastic job day in and day out and it is more than fitting that they should be so justifiably recognised.”

    “The Irish Aviation Awards, organised by the Irish Aviation Authority, have quickly become the benchmark for excellence in aviation,” he continued, “and it is a remarkable accomplishment that Air Contractors should join 2013 winners, Emirates, as the first two winners of this coveted and highly respected award as best aircraft operator in Ireland, whether Irish or international.”

    Pictured above are L-R: Mr Hugh Flynn, Chief Executive, ASL Aviation Group and Mr Colin Grant, Chief Executive, Air Contractors

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Air Contractors to become ASL Airlines Ireland

    Ireland based ASL Aviation Group is to launch a new European airline brand, ASL Airlines, as part of its strategy for continued growth in passenger and cargo operations.

    ASL’s 4 European airlines are to be renamed under the new ASL Airlines brand and there will be 4 airline operations ‘centres of excellence’ in Ireland, France, Switzerland and Hungary.

    Air Contractors will become ASL Airlines Ireland
    Europe Airpost will become ASL Airlines France
    Farnair Switzerland will become ASL Airlines Switzerland
    Farnair Hungary will become ASL Airlines Hungary

    Irish Airline, Air Contractors, will be rebranded as ‘ASL Airlines’ Ireland. Just last week the airline won the prestigious ‘Aircraft Operator of the Year’ award at the Irish Aviation Authority sponsored Irish Aviation Awards.
    Air Contractors operates B757 transatlantic passenger services from Shannon and Dublin to North America for Aer Lingus and also operates B737 charter passenger services throughout Europe from Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Knock Airports.
    The airline also operates a fleet of turbo prop and jet aircraft for express parcel integrators throughout Europe and the Middle East.

    Please click on the link below to download the Media Release:
    Air Contractors to become ASL Airlines Ireland

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Second major European airline award in 2015

    ASL Airlines Ireland has become the first Irish airline to win the highly prestigious ERA Airline of the Year ‘Gold Award’

    The award was announced at the ERA General Assembly in Berlin, Germany, on the night of 14th October with the judges citing the airline’s ‘successful strategic advance into passenger ACMI flying, including the implementation of B757 transatlantic operations for Aer Lingus and B737 operations for Ryanair.’

    The judges noted ASL Airlines Ireland ‘clever diversification from core freight operations while continuing to have success in that sector also’.

    The European Regional Airline Association (ERA) is the representative body for 54 European airlines and over 120 aviation service providers, including aircraft and engine manufacturers, airports and suppliers. Through its shared knowledge and experience ERA is able to offer its members an invaluable means of helping identify and address common challenges.

    This is the second major award this year for ASL Airlines Ireland. In May the airline won ‘Irish Aircraft Operator of the Year’ at the Irish Aviation Authority Awards in Dublin.

    “This award is the culmination of a great year for ASL Airlines Ireland when we successfully expanded and diversified our operations while maintaining our superior standards of reliability and quality,” said Colin Grant, Chief Executive of ASL Airlines.

    “Coupled with a rebrand, in common with our other three European airlines to ‘ASL Airlines’, and our charter holiday flights from Dublin, Shannon and Cork, it has been an extremely busy year for the team,” he continued.

    “Everyone at ASL Airlines Ireland responded to major challenges with skill, enthusiasm and professionalism and I’m delighted that their outstanding efforts have been rewarded with this ERA Gold Award that recognises the tremendous development of ASL Airlines Ireland as a European regional airline”, Mr. Grant concluded.

    Simon McNamara, Director-General of the ERA said “The astute business strategy of ASL Airlines Ireland has been recognised with our ERA Gold Airline of the Year Award, with the judging panel praising the airline’s strategic advance into passenger ACMI flying, in particular its ability to meet the exacting standards of Ryanair with two B737 aircraft and the implementation of operations with three B757s on behalf of Aer Lingus.”

    Mr. McNamara continued “while the airline’s core freight operations continue to enjoy success, the judging panel commended its diversification into the ACMI market which, said the panel, represents a clever and shrewd move”.

    This is the 21st time since 1991 that the ERA Airline of the Year Awards have been presented, and the first time a Gold Award has been won by an Irish airline. Previously Irish airlines have won Silver and Bronze awards. The award was presented to ASL Airlines Ireland by Patrick de Castelbajac, Chief Executive of Aircraft Manufacturer ATR, who sponsored the awards.

    The ERA Airline of the Year Award is highly regarded for independent and thorough judging, with judging panels chosen for their knowledge and their ability to assess achievements against the specific circumstances and constraints under which individual airlines operate. This year the judging panel comprised senior industry experts including past CEOs of European airlines and independent aviation journalists from a variety of European countries.

    ASL Airlines Ireland is headquartered in Swords, County Dublin and is part of the global ASL Aviation Group. Formerly known as Air Contractors until its rebrand this year, ASL Airlines Ireland operates cargo flights for express integrator clients including FedEx and DHL. The airline also operates B737 passenger flights from Ireland under its own brand and B757 transatlantic flights from Dublin and Shannon to the United States and Canada for Aer Lingus.

    ASL Airlines now comprises four airlines; ASL Airlines France, (formerly Europe Airpost), ASL Airlines Switzerland, (formerly Farnair Switzerland) and ASL Airlines Hungary, (formerly Farnair Hungary). The four airlines operate a fleet of 80 aircraft in Europe, the Middle East and Africa including cargo operations for all of the major express integrators and both own brand and ACMI scheduled and charter passenger flights.

    For Further Information:

    Andrew Kelly
    ASL Airlines
    d: +353 1 892 8118
    m: +353 85 711 7711

    Vivienne Burch
    ASL Airlines
    d: +353 1 892 8103
    m: +353 87 181 9920

    Celia Mather
    d: +44 1276 485582
    m: +44 7713 984792

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ASLI’s 1,000 000th Passenger!

    A Christmas holiday got off to a great start for Ms Emma Poff from Malahide, Dublin, who was announced as ASL Airlines Ireland ‘One Millionth Passenger’.

    Emma had checked in with her family for her holiday flying with ASL Airlines Ireland who were operating the charter flight from Dublin to Salzburg. Suddenly, ASL Airlines cabin crew unfurled a 1,000,000th passenger congratulatory banner. As Emma’s name was announced there was a spontaneous cheer and applause from all of her fellow passengers at Gate 210 in Dublin Airport.

    For being the one millionth passenger to book an ASL Airlines flight the Irish airline’s Chief Operating Officer, John Rawl presented Emma with a €1,000 Crystal holiday voucher so that she can come back and fly with us again next year.
    It was on this celebratory note that ASLI ended the year and look forward to making a start on our next million in 2016!

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A Star Amongst Us - Rio 2016

    We here in ASLI are delighted to announce that last week, Annalise Murphy, daughter of our Chief Pilot Captain Con Murphy, won silver in sailing at this year’s Olympic Games.

    Con’s daughter is just 26 years of age and this was the second time she competed in the Olympic Games. In 2012 Annalise came heartbreakingly close to winning a medal by finishing fourth in the London Olympics however, as they say, every cloud has a silver lining and Annalise was most deserving of this feeling in Rio.
    Both Con and his wife Cathy are enthusiastic sailors themselves so it is no surprise where Annalise gets her love of sailing from. Annalise’s mother Cathy competed in the Seoul Olympics in 1988 and father Con is a former Olympic Sailing Coach and holder of the Round Ireland Sailing Record.
    Annalise’s competition began on 8th August in Rio where Con attended the Games as an Olympic Sailing Technical Official.

    Captain Murphy has worked with us here in ASLI for over 15 years and we can only imagine the pride he and his family felt as his daughter took to the podium and accepted a silver medal for Ireland. We here in ASLI are extremely proud Annalise and delighted to share this experience with the Murphy family. Go Team Ireland !

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Dublin To Connecticut Takes Off!

    ASLI have launched yet another project with Aer Lingus and as of two weeks ago we now operate a daily B757 service to Connecticut.

    The inaugural flight EI131 to Hartford Connecticut, took off Wednesday the 28th September from Dublin at 2.40pm. Thanks to ASLI, this service puts Hartford's Bradley International Airport (KBDL) back on the trans-Atlantic map by giving the region its first nonstop link to Europe in eight years.
    This service not only creates a direct connection between Connecticut and Ireland, it further establishes Dublin as the natural transatlantic gateway to Europe for those travelling from North America.
    The inaugural flight was operated by our Chief Pilot Captain Con Murphy and First Officer Arthur Hunter Nolan who received a true céad míle fáilte from Bradley airport by the display of the iconic water canon arch.

    A promising future lies ahead for the Dublin-Bradley route and we in ASLI are delighted to be a part of it.

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Four in a Row!

    ASL Ireland are delighted to announce that for the 4th year in a row we have won the Peak Performance award. The award is in recognition of outstanding performance during the peak period and for helping FedEx deliver the Purple Promise to their customers.

    The criteria for achieving the award is to maintain a reliability level above 99.3% and a regularity level above 99.7% for the six week period leading up the Christmas. During the 2016 peak period ASLI operated 909 flights with only 6 accountable delays which is a reliability of 99.34% and a regularity of 99.78%.
    To achieve this award once is remarkable but to achieve it consistently for four years in a row is exceptional. This performance demonstrates ASL Ireland’s meticulous planning, diligent focus, constant determination & belief in our abilities to deliver excellent results.

    A big thank you to all who contributed to this great result and we intend to recognise this remarkable achievement for all staff in the coming weeks.
    We look forward to the opportunity and challenge to repeat this result in 2017. Come on 5 in a row!

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Shaping Our Future

    Last week ASLI were in attendance at The National Civil Aviation Development Forum (NCADF) run by The Department of Transport and Tourism which took place at Dublin Castle.

    NCADF was launched by the then Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe on 1st February 2016. The Forum was the first of its kind to be held in Ireland with a goal to enhance arrangements for consulting with the industry on the development of national policy and on influencing the development of EU and international policy affecting aviation in Ireland.

    ASLI took part in the forum which was titled as “Making Ireland The Most Competitive Aviation Country in the World” alongside representatives from all major Irish Airlines/governing bodies including The Irish Aviation Authority, Aer Lingus and Ryanair. We were delighted to be a part of the day and by doing so feel we have had an invaluable roll in the shaping of future policies not only in Ireland but across Europe.

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Hello Orebro

    Last week ASLI began a new route on the TNT/FedEx network. The ORB-GOT-LGG route will be operated by ASLI for the next few weeks with one of our newly acquired 737-400 freighters. This is a significant beginning to ASLI as it represents the start of our Scandinavian flying for TNT/FedEx albeit sooner than planned. There will be another two new Scandinavian routes expected to begin in June and July of this year.

    Orebro is a city of only 100,000 people, but has three flights a day on the TNT/FedEx network. Outside the larger metropolitan areas of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo, Orebro acts as a catch all hub especially for Sweden’s north making it an important hub in the TNT/FedEx network.

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A New Pin in The Map

    This week ASLI began operation to the City of Derry Airport in Northern Ireland. This airport has in the past been an important gateway to Europe for the people of Northern Ireland and indeed Donegal.

    Recent decisions by other operators to pull out of Derry airport has seen a big reduction in flight capacity and has limited the local people’s option for travel by air considerably. The introduction of the Derry to Palma Mallorca route operated by ASLI has been extremely well received especially by families looking to fly out on their summer holidays. This was reflected by the fact that every seat on the first flight was completely sold out. We look forward to a very busy summer season ahead for ASLI flying out of Derry.

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A330-300 P2F Conversion Programme

    ASLI are delighted to announce that DHL have ordered four A330-300 passenger aircraft for conversion to Freight. These are the first two A330 passenger to freight conversions in the world and will be designated A330 P2F.

    The first aircraft is currently undergoing the P2F STC conversion in Dresden, the second one is in Singapore, and both are managed by EFW/SIT.
    DHL have asked ASLI to operate the first two A330 P2F aircraft from their base in Hong Kong for an initial period of 18 months. The first aircraft is planned to fly on the 15th December initially based in Leipzig to accommodate crew and ground staff training, and to proof test the motorised main deck cargo loading system.
    From the middle of January both aircraft will be based in Hong Kong on a wet lease to Air Hong Kong and are planned to operate for Air Hong Kong on the following routes:
    • HKG – BKK
    • HKG – SGN – PEN

    This is a similar operation to our A300-600 operation for Air Hong Kong in 2014/16. The timelines for the aircraft are: First aircraft EIS 15th December and second aircraft planned for EIS mid-January.

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Busy Week with A330 Updates!

    ASLI are delighted to announce that our second A330 EI-HEB had its first flight this week after conversion in Singapore.

    Our first aircraft, EI-HEA has flown 108 sectors and 160 block hours since its first flight out of Dresden on 06Dec on the DHL European Network. This aircraft is now in for two weeks painting in Rome in preparation for wet lease to Air Hong Kong.

    EI-HEA will depart on the 18th of February from Dublin direct to Hong Kong which at just over twelve hours flight time will be the longest ever sector operated by ASLI. We hope to start scheduled operations from the 20th of February to Saigon, Penang. A huge thanks go to everyone who was involved in getting the operation underway.

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Snowy Dublin in Springtime

    Due to Ireland’s location on the fringe of the north Atlantic, we are used to a changeable climate from the south westerly jet streams.

    However, the first days of spring 2018 will long be remembered for the ‘beast from the east’ which brought to us Siberian air and a very considerable dumping of snow, which resulted in the country and it’s airports being brought to a standstill for 3 days.

    Not to be deterred by the weather, at ASLI business continued as normal with staff either working from home or braving the elements to make it to the office to ensure business continued without impact to our customers. Some dedicated staff even stayed in local hotels to ensure they would make it in for duty. With lots of our crew displaced and many schedule disruptions, it was one of the busiest weeks in recent memory.

    ASLI would like to say - Well done and thanks to everyone involved for their efforts during this challenging time.

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Philadelphia Here We Come

    On Sunday 25th March ASLI had its maiden flight on a new route for Aer Lingus from Dublin to Philadelphia. This marked the 7th North American destination operated by ASLI for Aer Lingus from Ireland and highlights the continuing strength in the relationship between the two airlines.

    Drawing from previous experience on both sides with similar new station start-ups along with a lot of hard work ensured a smooth commencement of operations. A significant presence of Aer Lingus and ASLI staff, coupled with several prominent local figures including the Mayor of Philadelphia showed the importance of this new route to both the people of Philadelphia and the Irish public. The birthplace of the United States, Philadelphia is the 6th largest U.S. City with a rich history and is a major domestic tourist destination. With this new route it is hoped that Philadelphia will see an increase in Irish and European tourism in the months and years to come.

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ASLI Says Hello to Belfast City

    ASLI have recently begun our summer passenger flight schedule based out of Belfast City Airport, operating on behalf of Aer Lingus.

    Belfast is a city of huge historical significance and the second largest city on the island of Ireland! It’s also a new market for ASLI’s passenger flights. Operating daily flights to Faro in Portugal and Malaga in Spain seven days a week has ensured a busy and challenging start to the summer.

    With tight turnaround times and an evening curfew in Belfast Airport, there were numerous challenges we faced from the onset. Thanks to careful planning and a strong presence on the ground, ASLI were able to ensure a smooth start to what is sure to be a very busy Summer. This new operation on behalf of Aer Lingus helps to strengthen ASLI’s already strong relationship with Ireland’s flag carrier, while continuing to help serve and grow their transatlantic operation.

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Upgrade for DHL

    ASLI are delighted to announce that we were awarded the contract for the upgrading of the current DHL Ostrava route from turboprop to jet!

    EI-STP, our newest B737-400F to the fleet was the aircraft planned for the job. This is a warm welcome return to DHL for 737 operations at ASLI.

    We originally started operating this route in January 2016 for DHL on our ATR72 Large Cargo Door aircraft EI-SLS and EI-SLT. This busy route is one of a kind as it’s the only feeder route to operate into the Leipzig hub.

    Our aircraft is be based in Leipzig and operates Leipzig – Ostrava – Leipzig on a Wet Lease contract, 5 nights per week which commenced on June 4th.

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Music in The Air

    The end of the summer season saw ASLI commence the first leg of its charter carrying musical instruments for The Royal Concertbouw Orchestra Amsterdam.

    The load, which consisted of approximately 61 pieces, was flown by Captain Le Tiec and First Officer Maas on EI-SLX from Rotterdam to Bratislava for a quick fuel-stop, then onto Larnaca in Cyprus.

    Performing for the first time in Cyprus, the RCO Amsterdam kicked off The Kypria International Festival at the Curium Ancient theatre, Limassol.
    From Larnaca ASLI then flew the instruments to Ljubljana, where the RCO Amsterdam performed in the closing ceremony of the 66th Ljubljana Festival.

    ASLI were honoured The Royal Concertbouw Orchestra Amsterdam, considered to be one of the finest orchestras in the world, chose to work with us and very much hope to transport them again in the future.

    Photo credit with thanks – Anne Dokter

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ASLI meets the students

    Last month, ASLI took part in the IASA Career Expo which took place in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Northwood, Santry

    IASA (Irish Aviation Students Association) is a not for profit organisation, under the full control of a student body. IASA’s main purpose is to connect aviation-passionate students with the Industry, and to discover and develop opportunities that will shape the future of aviation in Ireland and beyond.

    The Career Expo is an annual networking and career event. This one-day event is aimed at promoting career opportunities in all aspects of the airline industry. It provided a space for aviation students and professionals to expand their knowledge and network with the international aviation community.

    On the day, the company invited employee representatives along to share their experiences of working at ASLI. It was a worthwhile event and we look forward to attending in 2019.

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Hello Shanghai!

    ASLI’s DHL operation in Hong Kong continues to grow as the end of 2018 marked the delivery of the third A330 and addition of a new route, to Shanghai Pudong International Airport China.

    EI-HED, the third A330 ASLI have taken on, is an A330-243F, a slightly different type to the rest of the fleet. This brought with it some new challenges, but ASL Ireland rose to the occasion and Duty Manager John Davey reported EI-HED airborne on its acceptance flight at 11:43 PM on Monday the 17th of December, just 6 weeks after it was agreed to transfer the aircraft to ASLI.
    EI-HED was flown from Abu Dhabi to Hong Kong on Jan 4th by Captain Denis Coughlan and First Officer Harvey Gaskell to join EI-HEA and EI-HEB in service for DHL-AHK.
    In other A330 news, the first ASLI flight to China was flown on Jan 1st by EI-HEA from HKG to PVG. LD782 landed on target and on time at 5.54AM on new year’s day, marking another success for the Asian operation.

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ASLI Says Hello to The Windy City

    ASLI has now officially operated their first flight from Dublin to Chicago for Aer Lingus. This was a new destination for ASLI on the Aer Lingus network and marked the 8th North American destination that ASLI have operated for Aer Lingus with the 757 aircraft.

    Aer Lingus operate 2 A330 aircraft on the Chicago route, but had downgraded one flight to a 757 for the quieter winter period from January to March. While Aer Lingus are well established in Chicago, the challenge for ASLI operating on this route was bringing in a different aircraft type that the handling agents may not have been used to. The new aircraft type and the cold Chicago weather did not disrupt operations even slightly, with all staff involved working hard to ensure that the first flight departed Chicago on time. While ASLI will only operate this route for a period of 3 months, it is a credit to the hard work of the ASLI and Aer Lingus team to integrate the new aircraft type onto this route without any disruption to operations.

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International Women’s Day at ASLI

    International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8th every year in honour of women’s remarkable contribution to our society. The day also commemorates the inspiring role of women around the world to secure women's rights and build more equitable societies.

    #BalanceforBetter was the theme for this year's International Women's Day. The 2019 initiative is aimed at gender equality, a greater awareness of discrimination and a celebration of women's achievements.
    In the ASLI building we are surrounded by 57 amazing women. Our Company recognises and values the contribution each and every one of them make on a daily basis and as a token all of the ladies in the office were given a small flower arrangement for their desks. Hopefully, this has let them know just how appreciated they are!

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Farewell Old Friends

    Two ASL pilots recently completed the final flights of their long careers on our A330 fleet in Hong Kong.

    A330 Fleet Captain Frank Condon’s aviation career started in the Irish Air Corps in 1972 and after 18 years there flying military aircraft and helicopters, and 20 years in Aer Lingus flying the B737 & A320, he joined Air Contractors in 2010. Over the last 8+ years, Frank has been a training captain on our A300 B4, A300-600, A320 and A330 fleets operating in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and most recently Asia/HKG again and the Fleet Captain responsible for the very successful introductions of our A300-600 and A330 fleets.

    Following a very long career in Finnair, Captain Matti Laukkanen joined ASL in late 2017 to support the startup of the new A330 fleet. Matti’s co-pilot on his last flight from Saigon to Hong Kong was none other than his son Mikko who is currently seconded from Finnair to our A330 fleet in HKG.

    Frank and Matti, thank you for your service to ASL! Best wishes from all your colleagues. We would like to wish you the best on whatever new journeys life takes you on in the future.

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ASLI Takes a Bite Out of The Mini Apple!

    We are delighted to announce that our new route on behalf of Aer Lingus from Dublin to Minneapolis got off to a great start on July 1st. This flight marks the first direct Aer Lingus flight between the two cities.

    The inaugural flight on Boeing 757 EI-LBR was crewed by ASLI Director of Flight Operations Capt. Con Murphy and First Officer Arthur Hunter-Nolan. The flight and crew received a warm welcome on arrival in Minneapolis that included a water cannon salute from the airport fire department. The route is the longest ASLI B757 route to date with a westbound scheduled block time of 8hrs 45mins and operates daily for the remainder of the year. Minneapolis is the county seat of Hennepin County and the larger of the Twin Cities, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Minneapolis is the largest city in the state of Minnesota and 46th-largest in the United States, with an estimated population of 425,403. The Twin Cities metropolitan area consists of Minneapolis, its neighbor Saint Paul, and suburbs which altogether contain about 3.63 million people and is the third-largest economic center in the Midwest. We look forward to operating a very successful service going forward!

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EI-EXR to The Rescue!

    Four years and four months after EI-EXR departed from Hong Kong the aircraft returned on July 28th for another mission to facilitate Air Hong Kong’s DHL operations.

    The Aircraft will be based in Clark Air Base (The Philippines) and operate five nights per week on the Clark - Manila - Hong Kong - Manila - Clark route. Flights from / to Clark are positioning flights as there are no longer facilities to park during the day at Manila.

    Due to Air Hong Kong having a number of their own aircraft on maintenance it has left them short of capacity and ASL (Ireland) were asked to help out in a short term basis. Having previous experience operating A300-600 aircraft in Asia (including Manila) we were more than happy to accede their request.

    It is expected that EI-EXR will operate on this route until the end of September 2019 when our latest A330 (EI-HEC) will arrive to take over operations.

    Crew from L-R: Capt. Martin Pound (A300-600); Capt. Tom Flynn (A300-600); Capt. Tony Tompkins (A330); FO Sean McKenna (A330); Capt. Andy McMurtry (A330); FO Jeremy Kuiper (A300-600)

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ASL Airlines Ireland Take Home Silver at the ERA General Assembly

    Each year, the ERA General Assembly hosts ERA’s prestigious airline and airport awards dinner which recognise excellence in the European aviation industry. This year’s awards were announced at the ERA General Assembly in Juan-les-Pins, France on Wednesday 9th October. ASL is very proud to have been recognised with the Airline of the Year “Silver Award” that evening.

    John Rawl, CEO of ASL Airlines Ireland, said “This is great recognition for the team at ASL Airlines Ireland and I am delighted that their dedication and professionalism has been acknowledged and honoured with the ERA Silver Airline of the Year Award.”

    This is not the first time we have been recognised by the ERA, having been awarded the Gold Award in 2015. This is a strong recognition of the continued evolution and innovation of ASL Airline Ireland’s business activity, whilst maintaining the highest levels of customer service.

    The ERA Airline of the Year Award is highly regarded for independent and thorough judging, with judging panels chosen for their knowledge and their ability to assess achievements against the specific circumstances and constraints under which individual airlines operate. This year the judging panel comprised senior industry experts including past CEOs of European airlines and independent aviation journalists from a variety of European countries.
    The European Regional Airline Association (ERA) is the representative body for 54 European airlines and over 120 aviation service providers, including aircraft and engine manufacturers, airports and suppliers.

    Pictured above: Stefano Bortoli, CEO of ATR presenting the award to John Rawl, CEO, ASL Airlines Ireland

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ASLI Gets Comfy for Charity!

    On a recent visit to the Amazon offices in Luxembourg, ASLI staff were delighted to take part in #AmazonGoesGold in aid of childhood cancer.

    Globally, 100,000 children die from cancer every year with the illness being the leading cause of death by disease among children in many countries. The affected children spend many days/months in their pyjamas in hospitals so in order to highlight the cause all staff and visitors were asked to come to work in their pyjamas for the day.

    #AmazonGoesGold not only raised awareness around the issue, but brought to the spotlight the incredible work that is being done by many organisations to increase survival rates and find a cure for childhood cancer.

    Following on from this event, ASLI staff went on to take part in a fundraiser for World Mental Health Day with an aim to do our part to support this cause and help break the stigma around mental health. All staff were asked to wear casual clothes and donated money for doing so. It served as an important reminder to never be afraid to speak to a friend or a colleague about anything. A lunchtime walk or chat can be more effective than you think for you or someone else. It’s always OK to mind your mental health!

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The Farewells to Our 757’s Begin

    Late 2019 saw us bid a fond farewell to EI-LBR and EI-LBS, the first two of our B757’s to have been handed back after having been operated by ASLI on behalf of Aer Lingus since early 2014.

    EI-LBR entered into service first making her maiden commercial transatlantic flight for us on February 5th 2014 when she flew from Shannon in the west of Ireland to Boston Massachusetts in the USA.

    Since then our 757 operation has seen us fly to eight transatlantic destinations in total on behalf of Aer Lingus; New York, Boston, Toronto, Washington, Connecticut, Philadelphia, Chicago and Minneapolis. On EI-LBR & EI-LBS alone we’ve flown over 8,000 sectors which roughly translates as 25.5 million miles or over 1000 round the world flights while carrying just over a million passengers, all the while maintaining an excellent level of reliability.

    While it is with some sadness that we begin the process of bidding a fond farewell to this fleet, we look forward to the next chapter at ASLI, as with this ever-changing and fast paced industry we’re in, it’s bound to be an exciting one!

    Pictured above: EI-LBR in Goodyear, Arizona

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EI-STU Joins the ASLI Family

    We are delighted to announce that our 9th B737 freighter joined the ASLI fleet and began flying on 11th February operating EMA-CGN return.

    This aircraft has a vast history, operating for several airlines notably Aeroflot and Garuda Airlines of Indonesia. She originally arrived into Shannon on the 20th January 2020 to be inducted into the ASLI fleet. Station Engineer Colm Fitzgerald and his team began the process which involved several modifications, fitting of various decals and notices and painting among other things to bring the aircraft up the ASLI high standard.

    Colm and his team have become experts in this type of work as various types of aircraft (B757, B737 and ATR’s) have passed through their hands. While we have had some introductory issues since operations began, this aircraft like all gone before it is settling in nicely to its new operation. We have high hopes that this aircraft will have many successful years of operation for our company that will satisfy all our customers’ needs well into the future.

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Buona Fortuna Poste!

    At very short notice, Italian Poste contracted an ASLI ATR72 for to cover a gap in their network due to one of their aircraft taking longer than expected to return from maintenance work.

    The routes covered Northern Italy and Sardinia an in total the aircraft flew 7 sectors over a 4 day period.

    The quick uptime and smooth delivery of this service were acknowledged by the customer and will hopefully result in further work with them well into the future.

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The EI-GUL has landed!

    The latest addition to the ASLI fleet, EI-GUL was welcomed into service on Jan 5th flying for FedEx on the PRG CDG route.

    This aircraft is the first off the production line of the new ATR 72-600F variant, the first factory freighter produced by ATR and the first of many which will be delivered to FedEx and ASLI over the course of 2021. ASL is delighted to have been chosen as the operator for this type and looks forward to welcoming a second 600F in the second half of 2021. Thanks to all involved in ASLI, FedEx and ATR who made this project a success

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Luxury Takes to the Skies

    Prior to the finalising of Brexit plans, several industry key players from the automotive sector - Porsche and Bentley set up contingency plans in case of a “ No Deal” or extensive customs import/export delays.

    A great opportunity for ASL Ireland resulted in a deal with their freight forwarder, DSV to operate 20 consecutive flights between the UK and Germany throughout January 2021, with an additional ten flights confirmed at a later stage for the month of February.

    Gear boxes and other auto spare parts were loaded on board our ATR72 from Birmingham to Baden Baden airport and vice versa to ensure sufficient stocks in the prestigious brands’ factories in case their usual road transport would face issue at the border.

    To ensure a smooth operation prior to commencing the flights, Bentley requested we performed a test loading sequence in East Midland airport on December 10th .The mission went well thanks to our local engineer who coordinated the trial with the ground handling and customer representatives.
    The first flight took place on January 6th with all stakeholders from ground to airport authorities and local representatives ready to go all month to support this airlift operation until February1st. The same is planned for the next round during February. Well done to all involved!

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ASL Airlines United Kingdom Operates First Flight

    On the 29th March 2021, ASL Airlines United Kingdom 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”, Colin Grant continued.

    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 us in ASLI with common standard operating procedures 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 in our Group.

    “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.

    ASL Airlines United Kingdom’s ICAO 3 letter designator is ABV and its callsign is CARGOBLUE.

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Farewell Old Friend

    ASL Airlines last ATR 42, EI-FXD left her adopted homeland when she departed from SNN on 7th April 2021 for pastures new. Her journey took her from Shannon to Keflavik in Iceland, Iqaluit in Canada’s Arctic, then onto Thompson in Manitoba and finally across the majestic Canadian Rockies to her new home in Kelowna in British Columbia - a journey lasting 19 hours over 4 sectors.

    EI-FXD was manufactured on 14th October 1991. She first joined Air Contractors, as it was called then, when she arrived in Dublin from San Antonio on 3rd July 2005. Her first scheduled flight was from Birmingham to Paris Charles De Gaulle on 7th July 2005. At 29.5 years, she has accumulated 35,730 hours and 38,898 landings.

    After almost 16 years of service, Captain Peter Galovic, Engineer Colm Fitzgerald and I had the great privilege of taking her on her final voyage for ASL Airlines.

    It is always sad when an aircraft leaves the fleet, but I am happy at least that she will continue to take to the skies on behalf of her new owner, Air North. May she have very many more happy landings!

    Captain Alice Lipson

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DHL Fuel Optimisation Programme

    For almost two years, ASLI has been working in partnership with DHL to participate in their Global Fuel Optimisation Programme.

    The initiative is part of DHL’s ‘Go Green’ project which aims to significantly cut their carbon footprint over the next ten years. It works by measuring a number of parameters from each sector that is flown and comparing them against an ideal scenario.

    Mo Barrack (DHL Senior Vice President for Global Aviation Projects) visited the Swords offices recently to explain how important the project is to DHL and how much ASLI has already contributed towards the remarkable 136 million kilograms of CO2 that they have avoided in their first full year. They saved over $10m of fuel, all of that saving is being funnelled back into further improvements in the programme.

    ASLI is already fully participating in the second stage which will see a greater emphasis on certain stages of the flight envelope to further increase efficiency.

    The next stage of the project was also revealed which will enable DHL to provide ASL with a far more accurate payload figure, letting us plan flights with less fuel on board.

    A similar project is underway with Amazon and both show how by harnessing technology we can drive the industry towards a much greener future.

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