ASL to acquire Farnair

Ireland-based ASL Aviation Group signed an agreement to acquire the Farnair Group of companies. ASL said it expected the transaction to close by the end of this year, but gave no financial details.

  • ASL, a joint venture of Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB, 51%) and 3P Air Freighters (an aircraft leasing subsidiary of private equity group Petercam, 49%), is the parent of European carriers Air Contractors and Europe Airpost, and has an ownership stake in South Africa-based Safair. It also owns UK-based parts supplier ACLAS Global, and MRO ACLAS Technics.
  • The Farnair group owns or controls four airlines: Farnair Switzerland, Farnair Hungary, Quikjet India, and Thailand-based K-Mile Air (45% stake). It also owns  handler Farnair Handling, pilot training company Farnair Training, and rail-freight forwarder Farnair Rail Logistics.

ASL & Farnair fleetsThe chart at right shows the combined fleets of the carriers, owned and joint-venture, that will make up the ASL Group following the completion of the acquisition. Both companies own and operate some passenger aircraft, but their main focus is freight, with flying in support of the big integrated express operators as their primary business. All four of the big integrators (DHL, FedEx, TNT, and UPS) are customers

In addition to the aircraft shown, the carriers also operate some smaller feeder freighters, and have more 737 conversions on order. ASL also recently signed an LOI with Lockheed Martin for up to ten LM-100J freighters (the civil-certified version of the  Hercules C-130J), which will replace the Hercules L-100s in the Safair fleet.

Not shown in the chart is Quikjet India, which currently does not operate any aircraft. The carrier briefly leased one of the Farnair ATR72Fs, and Farnair is reported to be planning future operations with 737-400Fs.

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