Air Cargo Germany liquidated as investor search fails

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Efforts to resurrect insolvent freight carrier Air Cargo Germany have failed, after no new investor could be found for the Frankfurt Hahn-based Boeing 747-400SF operator.

The airline has been grounded since 18 April, after its operating licence was withdrawn by Germany's civil aviation regulator LBA. The four 747s were returned to their lessors in May, but the carrier's approximately 120 staff members remained employed as the company was hoping to restart operations with new financiers.

Discussions were held with "seven or eight" potential, international investor candidates, says administrator Georg Heidemann of Düsseldorf-based law practice Kebekus & Zimmermann. But the final bidder - a US investor with international financiers - dropped out of the talks at the end of July, he says.

All employees were made redundant at the end of July too, and the airline's remaining assets will now be sold.

Among Air Cargo Germany's creditors is the operating company of Hahn airport, which is majority owned by the regional government of Rhineland-Palatinate. The airport had given the carrier a €5 million ($6.6 million) credit.

Heidemann expects, however, that only a fraction of the debt will be repaid as the percentage of the money released through the liquidation process versus the debt "will not be very high".

Volga-Dnepr Group acquired a 49% shareholding in Air Cargo Germany in April 2012.