Air Contractors (Ireland) Limited is a freight airline. It operates scheduled freight services throughout Europe on behalf of major integrators such as FedEx Feeder and DHL Express. ASL Aviation Group Limited, which controls 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. The name Hunting Cargo Airlines was adopted in September 1992 and then changed to Air Contractors, following the acquisition of the airline by Compagnie Maritime Belge (51%) and Safair (49%) in June 1998, and a move to Ireland. It has expanded as a group to include aircraft leasing (ACL Aviation Support and Aircraft Trading both based in Southend, UK) and maintenance (Air Contractors Engineering, previously called Aeroscot, Edinburgh, UK).
Air Contractors has operated several types of cargo aircraft including the Boeing 727 and Airbus A300, as well as a number of turboprop platforms in support of its clients operations.
Air Contractors is a one of the largest operators of ATR42/72 series of turboprop aircraft, providing services to a range of clients, the largest of which being Fedex Express.
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 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.
Air Contractors has a short-haul operation from Dublin, with short-haul services also from London-Stansted, Manchester and Paris-Charles de Gaulle. All services are operated for FedEx Feeder with some aircraft painted in FedEx colours.
It also operates the Airbus A300-B4 fleet on behalf of DHL with a main operational base of Leipzig in Germany.
Air Contractors ATR 42-300 in FedEx Feeder colours
The Air Contractors fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average fleet age of 23.8 years (as of December 2012):
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