UK regulators have restored the operating licence of freight operator CargoLogicAir, clearing it to operate contracts providing medical supplies using a pair of Boeing 747 freighters.

The UK CAA had suspended the AOC and operating licence of the London Stansted-based operator - the UK’s only maindeck freighter operator - on 27 February for three months at the request of the company. 

That came amid what the company described as a “drastic decrease” in market demand, notably in the Chinese market - where CargoLogicAir had focused much of its activities.

That drop in business also reflected the impact on the Chinese market of the coronavirus outbreak. But when the further spread of the global pandemic subsequently led to the virtual grounding of international scheduled passenger services, it prompted a temporary boom in the cargo sector as the market sought more air freight supply to counter the reduction in bellyhold capacity on passenger aircraft.

Cargo prices have increased rapidly with spot market rates as high $14-$16 per kg out of China as governments try to secure capacity to move medical equipment.

In a statement the UK CAA says: ”CargoLogicAir, has had its operating licence and air operator’s certificate suspension lifted in order for them to provide cargo flights using two Boeing 747 aircraft on contracts to provide medical supplies.”

CargoLogicAir will resume flights on 23 April. A company spokesman tells FlightGlobal sister publication Air Cargo News that it will initially fly from China to the UK to carry supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) but it would be able to support customers globally as requested.

“[The] primary factor in the operational relaunch has been the shareholders’ and executive team’s effort to continue a company’s heritage,” says the spokesman.

“CargoLogicAir’s new strategy encompasses the existing experience together with the new management and organisational model that should allow it to operate as a successful incumbent on the global market.”

This story was updated on 23 April to add quotes from CargoLogicAir spokesperson