German cargo airship builder CargoLifter, after two months' insolvency, has laid off the bulk of its workforce and is warning "it is not clear now whether the company will be able to continue".

Around 200 employees were made redundant last week, leaving just 30 staff. Work has halted on its only remaining active programme, the CL 75 lifting balloon, after development of the CL160 stopped in May to save money (Flight International, 11-17 June).

CargoLifter has failed to persuade either the Brandenburger state government or the federal authorities to provide the €20 million ($19.6 million) it needs to keep afloat until its first CL 75 delivery, originally set for December.

CargoLifter is talking to other possible investors, but admits that "there are initial talks only".

The company signed a deal with Boeing to develop stratospheric radar-carrying surveillance airships, but the USgiant has dismissed the possibility of taking over CargoLifter. The company's activities are effectively halted and, unless new funds can be found, it will probably be wound up.

Source: Flight International