European private equity firm STAR Capital completed its acquisition of Ireland-based ASL Aviation Holdings, announced in February of this year.
ASL Aviation’s airlines include ASL Airlines Ireland, ASL Airlines Belgium, ASL Airlines France, and ASL Airlines Hungary, and combined, the group operates a total of 130 passenger and freighter aircraft ranging from 747s to ATR turboprops. According to Cargo Facts estimates, ASL-affiliate carriers operate at least 106 freighters today – more than double the number operating with ASL only five years ago.
When the acquisition was announced in February, it was unclear whether that rapid fleet growth would continue. While that question has still not been definitively answered, in a statement today, STAR Capital managing partner Paul Gough indicated his belief that ASL has “excellent prospects for growth.” Likewise, Hugh Flynn, ASL Group’s CEO, said STAR’s investment offers ASL “support and endorsement as we continue to innovate and develop our products and services for current and potential new customers.”
Alongside new aircraft platforms (including 737-800BCFs on lease from GECAS, as well as A330-200Fs and a converted A330-300F operated on behalf of DHL Express), ASL has acquired aviation companies including the Farnair Group, which held ownership in four airlines, and TNT Express’ airline operations. It would not be a surprise if the influx of capital offered by STAR paves the way for similarly impressive acquisitions going forward.