Turnover at ASL Aviation heading for €1bn

Irish-based cargo and passenger carrier continues to build on ties with UPS, DHL and Amazon

ASL has several types of aircraft across its operations, including Boeing 737s, 747s and 757s, as well as the smaller ATR jets and Hercules

ASL has several types of aircraft across its operations, including Boeing 737s, 747s and 757s, as well as the smaller ATR jets and Hercules

 

Turnover at ASL Aviation is heading for €1 billion as the Irish-based cargo and passenger carrier continues to build on relationships with the likes of Amazon, DHL and UPS, according to its chief executive Hugh Flynn.

The Irish Aviation Authority recently gave Mr Flynn its annual award for outstanding contribution to the industry, an accolade given in the past to Alan Joyce, the Dublin-born chief executive of Australia’s Qantas, and Ryanair and GPA founder Tony Ryan.

Swords, Co Dublin-based ASL has operations in Europe, South Africa and Asia. It focuses mostly on cargo, but has a growing low-cost carrier in South Africa and flies some US services under contract for Aer Lingus, including, on occasion, from Dublin to Washington, to Hartford, Connecticut and to Newark, New Jersey.

“Our revenues are more than $1 billion (€816m),” Mr Flynn said recently. “We are very pleased about that, and we want to continue to grow. Demand has really picked up.”

ASL has five cargo airlines in Europe, one of which is based in the Republic, but its Belgian subsidiary is its biggest operator. It also has airlines in countries such as France and Hungary. All of them carry the ASL brand.

The company already has long-standing relationships with logistics businesses DHL and UPS. More recently it began flying delivery services for online shop Amazon. “It’s mainly out of Poland to the UK and Italy to the UK,” Mr Flynn noted.

Cargo use

He explained that ASL uses large Boeing craft converted for cargo use to fly for the tech giant. He said the Amazon business began quietly, but ASL is hoping to develop it to a point where it will be flying 10 airplanes regularly for the US multinational, whose business is essentially focused on delivering books and other goods to customers who order them online.

Mr Flynn believes cargo airlines will benefit as people continue to change their shopping habits and order more goods online.

ASL has several types of aircraft across its operations, including Boeing 737s, 747s and 757s, as well as the smaller ATR jets and Hercules, based in Africa, where they can be called on for emergency operations.

The Irish company also owns Safair, a low-cost carrier in South Africa which Mr Flynn jokes is “going like a Boeing”.

“It’s really doing well,” he says. It has already earned several awards for being the world’s most on-time and reliable airline. ASL has designed Safair along the same low-cost lines as Ryanair.

ASL has also expanded into southeast Asia, where it has several cargo carriers providing services for DHL.