Being granted an Air Operator’s Certificate by the German regulator LBA is a matter of weeks, not months, says Managing Director Ulrich Ogiermann of CLG. “I can confirm that we are well on track to launch our maiden flight in July, provided all regulatory approvals are obtained,” he told CargoForwarder Global. This he said, follows recent talks with officials of Braunschweig-based German civil aviation authority, the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA).
“We are in the final stages of the AOC approval process,” stated Mr Ogiermann. This also applies to audits performed by LBA watchdogs at Leipzig-Halle airport, CargoLogic Germany’s home
Meanwhile, CLG has recruited 15 captains and first officers “eager to push the throttle and get the engines running,” says MD Ogiermann. Currently, two Boeing 737-400s converted from passenger variants are in the fleet and will fly with German registrations, with three additional aircraft of the same type expected to arrive in the coming months.
The network will be determined by CLG’s customers
So far, clear is only that the aircraft will be based at Leipzig-Halle, but which routes they will operate depends entirely on commercial agreements with customers. “We are in talks with a considerable number of customers, and we have already signed provisional contracts with some of them,” states the manager. Asked about plans to become a kind of European Prime Air for Amazon, he plays down such intentions. “We intend to serve all market players, without committing to a specific single customer.”
Express is the sole product
Further to this, he emphasizes that CargoLogic Germany’s business model is based on transporting express shipments on pan-European routes, without any connectivity to AirBridgeCargo’s network. “We are an autonomous express carrier, entirely concentrating on the demands of the fast-growing express & e-commerce market.”
Confronted with earlier announcements, predicting the launch of commercial flights in March or latest in April, Herr Ogiermann said that this timeframe proved to be “a bit challenging.” He went on to say that CLG internally and also LBA are doing a very thorough job, examining all documents, footage and other material submitted for the AOC application very rigorously.
The regulator will like to read this:
“The LBA places the utmost priority to issues of safety and security, with their inspectors examining everything very carefully before approving any application.”
Despite this time lag, CLA is still below the average time needed by newcomers to be granted an AOC by the LBA. Normally, this takes at least an entire year. In summary, Herr Ogiermann said the following: “When starting in July, we still beat this experience-based timeframe and this is a testament to the quality of the team.”