ASL Aviation Holdings has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Universal Hydrogen to acquire up to ten conversion kits to use hydrogen as a fuel for its ATR72 freighters. The Irish holding is poised to become the launch cargo customer for the new propulsion system.

It has also agreed to provide one of its aircraft as a testbed and certification platform to develop the kits. The agreement further includes the long-term contract for the supply of hydrogen fuel for the carrier after the induction of the aircraft.

"In ASL, we are committed to being a first-mover in the introduction of new emissions reduction technology in our current fleet, and hydrogen has a significant role to play with aircraft such as the ATR 72. Aviation cannot wait to act for a decade or more before new aircraft types become available, and by working with Universal Hydrogen, we can create a bridge to new aircraft that will allow us to immediately reduce our carbon footprint," Chief Executive of ASL Aviation Holdings Dave Andrew said.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, ASL Aviation Holdings' fleet of ATR72 comprises twelve units:

The Irish airline will take at least four more ATR72-600Fs ordered by FedEx.

In July 2021, Icelandair Group, Air Nostrum, and Ravn Alaska signed LOIs for Universal Hydrogen conversion kits for their aircraft. The start-up plans to develop a standardised hydrogen-fueled propulsion system for existing turboprop engines and design easily replaceable fuel cells. Instead of creating a proprietary system, it hopes to set the standard for other manufacturers and thus accelerate market growth.