Ascend Airways Secures UK Air Operator Certificate

Tailplane of an Ascend Airways aircraft
Photo Credit: Ascend Airways

Ascend Airways, a recent addition to Avia Solutions Group’s (ASG) growing portfolio of airlines, has been granted a critical Air Operator Certificate (AOC) by the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Avia Solutions Group specialises in the field of ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance) charter airline operations.

This authorization, along with a Type A Operating License and Route License, paves the way for Ascend Airways to launch commercial flights.

Ascend Airways Clear to Commence Operations

ASG, the world’s largest ACMI provider with a fleet exceeding 212 aircraft, welcomes Ascend Airways as a strategic asset.

The UK AOC grants unrestricted access to the lucrative UK ACMI and charter market, allowing ASG to solidify its position and expand its global reach.

Ascend Airways gears up for its inaugural year with plans to operate two Boeing 737 aircraft. The airline anticipates further fleet growth in the future.

Focus on UK and Malaysia

“Securing the AOC and licenses demanded a significant investment of time and resources,” remarked Alastair Willson, CEO of Ascend Airways.

“I’m incredibly proud of our entire team for achieving this milestone ahead of the busy summer season.”

“Our immediate focus is on delivering exceptional service to our launch customer and establishing our sister company, Ascend Airways Malaysia.”

“This strategic move allows us to seasonally shift capacity between the UK and Malaysia, capitalizing on the burgeoning Southeast Asian market and maximizing aircraft utilization throughout the year.”

Avia Solutions Group, headquartered in Ireland, currently boasts a portfolio of twelve AOCs worldwide.

By the end of 2024, the group aims to establish or acquire four additional airlines in strategically chosen countries like Brazil, Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia.

Understanding ACMI Operations

ACMI, which stands for Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance, is a specific type of aircraft leasing arrangement popular in the aviation industry. Airlines seeking additional capacity or facing temporary operational challenges can turn to ACMI providers.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s included in an ACMI lease:

  • Aircraft: The ACMI provider supplies the aircraft, typically a specific model chosen by the leasing airline.
  • Crew: The provider furnishes a fully qualified and certified flight crew, including pilots and cabin attendants.
  • Maintenance: The ACMI provider guarantees the leased aircraft undergoes rigorous maintenance to meet all airworthiness regulations.
  • Insurance: The provider takes care of all necessary aircraft insurance.

The leasing airline, on the other hand, is responsible for:

  • Flight planning and operations: They manage the flight schedule, fuel, ground handling, and other operational aspects.
  • Marketing and sales: The airline is responsible for selling tickets and promoting flights under their brand.

ACMI operations offer several advantages:

  • Flexibility: Airlines can quickly scale their operations up or down based on seasonal demands or unforeseen circumstances.
  • Reduced Costs: Leasing eliminates the upfront investment and ongoing expenses associated with owning and maintaining a fleet.
  • Focus on Core Business: Airlines can concentrate on their core competencies like marketing and customer service.

However, there are also some drawbacks to consider:

  • Limited Control: The leasing airline has less control over specific aspects like crew scheduling and aircraft maintenance compared to owning their fleet.
  • Profit Sharing: Profits from the leased aircraft are typically shared between the ACMI provider and the leasing airline.

Overall, ACMI operations provide a valuable tool for airlines seeking flexible and cost-effective solutions to meet their operational needs.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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