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ASL adds regular routes to charter mix
ASL Fly Executive aims to 'turn the aviation industry upside down' when it introduces regular flights from Brussels to Ibiza from 4 July. The company will add Antwerp to Innsbruck this coming winter.
Philippe Bodson continues to set the bar high.
Read this story in our June 2020 printed issue.

Major charter operator ASL Group is introducing regular routes with Embraer ERJ aircraft under the name ASL Fly Executive, with a service that is designed to offer passengers a high quality flight experience as part of an ‘all-in’ package.

“Traveling by airliner has become uncomfortable and impersonal,” says Philippe Bodson, CEO. “The question is, should this really be the case? At ASL Group, we don't think so. That is why we have developed a new and unusual concept that may turn the aviation industry upside down.”

The new project will be placed with ASL Private Jet Services, which operates as a charter company for private flights of up to 12 passengers in Belgium and the Netherlands. The group operates a fleet of 35 private jets spread over almost all airports in Belgium and the Netherlands. In 2018, new airline ACE (Air Charters Europe) was created, which also offers charter flights for groups. ACE operates these flights with a fleet of Embraer ERJ jets with a capacity of 30 to 42 seats.

“All of the plastic commonly found on airline planes has been removed and replaced with a leather interior, similar to what you would expect in a private jet,” continues Bodson. “Each seat has its own power plug, the legroom between the seats is much larger than you would normally expect, the walls are made of ultra soft leather and the individual tables and toilets are also finished with high quality materials. The overhead luggage compartments have been removed, giving the aircraft a much more spacious feel, and additional soundproofing has been applied throughout the cabin, making the noise level in the cabin much quieter than during a normal commercial flight.”

To date, football teams, companies, private incentives, governments, military agencies and the European Community regularly use ACE's services. “These are the planes with which we will extend the fleet and which will be used in the new Fly Executive project,” continues Bodson. “Fly Executive will be placed somewhere between private charter flights and scheduled aviation. It will be a kind of regular service to which you can subscribe individually with one or more people, always with a unique character. And it can be the departure airport, the terminal, the time or the destination, for example.”

With Fly Executive, the slogan is: 'everything is included'. This includes a drink before the flight, champagne during the flight, tasty snacks, spacious and safe seats, a mouth mask, 25 kg of luggage per person, the possibility of changing the owner of the ticket, a friendly and attentive crew that ensures that safety standards are respected.

Aviation is responsible for two per cent of all CO2 emissions worldwide. And although opinions on the impact of the sector on the climate are divided, this question gets ASL Group's full attention: climate change is and will remain the challenge of this century.

“We want to play a pioneering role with Fly Executive,” Bodson explains. “And I am convinced that our target group is ready to take part in this role. This is why a CO2 compensation contribution is systematically included in the price of each ticket. Our mission is to voluntarily offset the CO2 emissions for each flight in this programme. For this, we have chosen to join the Cookstoves project, a climate and ecological project that invests in local production and the sale of efficient cooking appliances. Today, more than a third of the world's population cooks on a wood fire every day, usually indoors. This has a huge impact on the climate and on the health of people exposed daily to very harmful fumes.”

ASL Fly Executive takes off with a weekly flight from Brussels to Ibiza from 4 July and an Antwerp to Innsbruck flight is already on the programme for the coming winter.