Cargologicair (CLA), the Volga-Dnepr group’s new UK all-cargo carrier, has finally taken to the skies after receiving its UK aircraft operating certificate.

The airline launched its service with a charter flight to Italy. According to flight tracking data, on Monday it flew from Doncaster to Frankfurt and on to Bari, Italy. Yesterday it flew back to Frankfurt and ended the day back in Bari.

It has another charter flight scheduled, from Munich to Upington, South Africa, which is known for its grapes, raisins and wine, before it commences a scheduled service.

The airline’s first scheduled route, which will operate twice a week, is thought to be Stansted – Frankfurt – Libreville – Johannesburg – Nairobi.

Africa is a notable absentee in sister airline AirBridge Cargo’s (ABC) network, which focuses on Europe, Asia and the US. The airline has been looking for partners to connect it with Africa – in particular Martinair – but CLA should now fit the bill and ABC, which under its Russian traffic rights struggled to win African destinations, is expected to interline with its new sister carrier.

At the moment, CLA is operating with one 747-400F, on lease from Aircastle. It had been in ABC’s fleet, but was transferred and registered under the UK CAA last year as G-CLAA. It is expected that CLA will receive at least one more aircraft from ABC this year.

Cargologicair is majority owned by Cargo Logic Holding Ltd, whose sole shareholder is Alexey Isaikin, president of Volga-Dnepr Group. According to company filing he is not a Russian citizen, but a Cypriot, and therefore an EU citizen. He is also a company director of Cargo Logic Management, whose sole shareholder is Volga-Dnepr Logistics BV, the Schiphol-registered arm of the Russian group.

The airline’s CEO, and owner of one share, is Dmitry Grishin, former CEO of Volga-Dnepr Airlines and previously vice-president sales for Ruslan. Chief commercial officer is Stephen Harvey, most recently of Atlas Air, but he was sales manager at Ruslan for six years.

The Loadstar would like to wish Cargologicair much success in its new venture.

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