Leipzig (LEJ)-based CargoLogic Germany (CLG) was issued an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA), the German civil aviation authority. With an AOC in hand, the carrier expects to start flying “imminently,” CargoLogic Germany told Cargo Facts.
Initially, CLG will operate a pair of 737-400 SFs that were redelivered to the carrier earlier this year, on-lease from Vx Capital. By 2022, CLG plans to grow its 737F fleet to ten units. A third 737-400F (25775) that is currently operated by ATRAN is expected to be transferred to CargoLogic Germany in the coming months, while the other seven narrowbody freighters “are likely to be sourced externally,” said Jorrit Dubois, head of commercial, CargoLogic Germany. Although the carrier could pick up secondhand freighters coming out of service with other carriers, “I would not rule out that we take additional freighter conversions down the line,” Dubois added.
The carrier’s first commercial flights will likely involve one-off and short-term charters for European customers. Long-term, CLG expects to ACMI-lease capacity to integrators and online merchants. It should be noted the carrier shares a hub with DHL Express and other potential customers.
Returning to the carrier’s AOC, what normally would have been a straightforward process for a startup with aircraft and crews ready to go ultimately ended up taking much longer for CargoLogic Germany. At issue was the source of the carrier’s funding, which led to concern from European carriers about whether the startup was in fact German-controlled. While the carrier refers to itself as an “independently owned” German Airline, its parent company CargoLogic Holding shares the same owner as Russia-based Volga-Dnepr Group. Despite the affiliation, CLG’s locally based management and operations teams were sufficient to qualify it for a German AOC.
Still, there remains the possibility that LBA’s decision to award the certificate will be reviewed and potentially challenged by other carriers. Peter Gerber, CEO at Lufthansa Cargo, told journalists at a media event related to its 2018 results that the carrier would carefully review any decision from LBA to ensure compliance with German laws.
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