After announcing in NOV19 that it would be halving its B747 freighter fleet (from 4 planes to 2) in early 2020, in its battle against “challenging market conditions”, CargoLogicAir (CLA) terminated its flights on 24FEB20, and sent home some of its staff in the first step towards liquidation.
CargoLogicAir, based in Stansted and founded in 2015 as the UK’s only main deck freighter airline, faced a turbulent 2019 with changes at board level (CFG reported in AUG19), and tough financial decisions when publishing its figures in OCT19. Despite then reporting revenues (GBP 213.7 million) that were nigh on double those of 2018, it also disclosed mounting losses resulting from the initial expansion of its fleet and the consequent increase in flights and services. At the time, the operating loss was GBP 17.8 million. A few days before, CLA had announced that, together with its partner airlines, AirBridgeCargo, it would be reducing its scheduled services (5 freighter connections in total) from 01NOV19 onwards, though with a view “to grow[ing] the business again in the future”.
Overnight change in plan
Just 2 weeks ago, an opening for Licenced Aircraft Engineer, “due to the continued expansion for CargoLogicAir”, was published on LinkedIn, along with a number of pushes promoting CargoLogicAir charter capacities around 3 weeks ago.
Yet, CLA’s management or owners now appear to think that the UK business model no longer has a chance in the market, a source told CFG. The last of the scheduled flights to have shown any actual movement in FlightRadar, was a HKGSVO flight on 20JAN20.
The decision to shut operations appears to come as a surprise to those staff available in the office on 24FEB20, and a requested official statement from the airline is still pending at time of publication.
What happens now?
According to its website, CargoLogicAir currently employs over 200 staff in the UK. What will happen to them now is as yet unclear. CFG’s source confirmed that the CLA pilots were informed of the liquidation on 24FEB20, whilst another CFG source stated that staff had been told to go home that day.
CargoFacts reports that the UK Civil Aviation Authority revoked CargoLogicAir’s license last week, due to financial issues, though this is yet to be verified since CargoLogicAir still shows up a Class A license holder.
CFG’s source stated that CargoLogic Germany is currently not affected by these sudden changes, given their focus on eCommerce within the European continent.
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