In this letter, we investigate the midinfrared photoluminescence of a series of diode-pumped Er3+-doped and Er3+, Yb3+-codoped low-silica content aluminosilicate glasses. Emission at 2.8 μm was observed in both single doped and codoped samples. The effect of Yb3+ codoping of the Er3+-doped samples was such that, for example, for a 2 wt % Er3+-doped, the photoluminescence yield at 2.8 μm was found to be roughly three times larger than that of the single 2 wt % Er3+-doped sample. This behavior was attributed to the efficient sensitization of Er3+ by Yb3+ in our oxide based host glasses. The results reported in this letter, together with the outstanding mechanical, chemical, and thermal properties of these glasses, suggest that rare-earth doped calcium aluminate glasses may become an attractive host for the development of solid state lasers operating in the midinfrared. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.