UK freighter operator CargoLogicAir has confirmed to FlightGlobal sister publication Air Cargo News that it has suspended operations as its exposure to China takes its toll.

In a short statement, the Boeing 747 carrier – and the UK’s only maindeck freighter operator – said that “due to the latest market development, specifically the drastic decrease of the market demand, CLA finds it extremely difficult to continue its commercial operations”.

“Most importantly, CLA operations have been severely affected as it had placed a significant portion of its commercial activities in the Chinese market,” it adds. “As a result, a decision was made to suspend the flights.”

The China market has taken a hit as result of the trade war with the USA and more recently the outbreak of the coronavirus that has seen factories extend Chinese New Year closures as part of efforts to contain the outbreak.

London Stansted-baed CLA has requested a three-month suspension of its operating licence and air operator’s certificate from 27 February, says the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

CLA says it will would continue to fulfil its contractual, financial and regulatory obligations and added that it is in close communication with the CAA.

Flight-tracking data, while unverified, indicated that the airline’s freighters had stopped flying earlier this month.

The airline has been active for around four years and its story is a mirror of the cargo industry over that time.

Its first flights took place in early 2016, just ahead of the air cargo industry entering into a bumper 24-month period.

At its height the airline operated a fleet of four 747Fs – three -400s and one -8F – and employed around 200 people.

But over the past two years the situation has declined, with CLA cancelling freighter connections from Frankfurt to Chicago O’Hare, Atlanta, Chicago via Atlanta and Oslo, and services from Moscow-Sheremetyevo to Hong Kong.

It subsequently revealed it would halve its fleet in early 2020 to two aircraft as it battled “challenging market conditions”.

CLA’s most recent full-year financial figures, for 2018, show its revenues almost doubled – to £213.7 million – but net losses deepened sharply to £18 million with a similar figure for its operating loss.