Air Contractors (Ireland) Limited is a freight and passenger airline. It operates scheduled freight services throughout Europe on behalf of major integrators such as FedEx Feeder and DHL Express; and operates unscheduled passenger air charter flights. ASL Aviation Group Limited, the parent company of Air Contractors, has its head office at No.3 Malahide Road, Swords, County Dublin, Ireland.
The airline was established and started operations in 1972, as AirBridge Carriers at East Midlands Airport. In September 1992 the name Hunting Cargo Airlines was adopted and in 1997 the transfer of all airline operations to Ireland was completed. In June 1998 the Hunting Group sold its aviation arm to a joint consortium of CMB Compagnie Maritime Belge and Safair (part of the Imperial Group) and the airline was rebranded Air Contractors. The Imperial Group transferred its 49% shareholding in the company to 3P Air Freighters/Petercam S.A. in 2007.
Air Contractors acquired French carrier Europe Airpost on 14 March 2008. Following the acquisition of EAP into the ACL group of companies, the group was rebranded ASL Aviation Group, representing the three core activities of the group; Airlines, Support and Leasing.
In 2010 Air Contractors entered a new era with the start of passenger flying on a Boeing 737-300 aircraft in conjunction with its Group partner, Europe Airpost.
Today Air Contractors is a one of the largest operators of the ATR42/72 series of turboprop aircraft, providing services to a range of clients, the largest of which being FedEx Express. It also operates a fleet of Boeing B737-300/400 and B757-200 aircraft. The Airbus aircraft it operates include the A300-622R and the A320. In addition, Air Contractors is the only operator of a civil registered Lockheed L-100 Hercules aircraft in Europe. The aircraft, EI-JIV, is based at East Midlands airport in the UK.
Air Contractors flights operate between the airports of Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Glasgow, Manchester, Paris, Madrid, Marseille, Nice, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Prague, Warsaw, Katowice, Gdańsk, Ancona, Bergamo, Naples, Hong Kong, Boston, New York and Toronto.