MK Airlines grounded

MK Airlines has suspended all flying after the struggling cargo carrier failed to secure sufficient funding to continue its operations.

The struggling UK-headquartered B747-200 freighter airline only exited administration last June with the promise of new investment. However, this appears to have failed to materialize and the future is now in extreme doubt. Air Cargo News believes that the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) visted MK’s headquarters last week after learning that the airline was under financial stress. It is believed that staff salaries had been unpaid for several months and fuel and handling bills were also in arrears.

In a statement, the airline’s prime customer Panalpina said: “Panalpina has been informed by its partner MK Airlines that the carrier is temporarily suspending its operation due to a lack of adequate resources. According to MK Airlines it cannot maintain a service and safety level expected. “Panalpina and MK Airlines have been close partners for many years, cooperating mainly on the traderoute between Europe and Africa. Panalpina has secured sufficient capacity to guarantee its customers uplifts and highest service quality as usual. The company has worked out alternatives for the short-, medium- and long term, ensuring a smooth service for all customers.”

MK Airlines is a cargo airline registered in the United Kingdom, providing worldwide freight operations. It operated services linking Africa and the rest of the world. In June 2008 MK Airlines stopped operating. Hoping to restart operations, its founder Mike Kruger, believed to be Zimbabwean, looked for capital to finance the replacement of the fuel-inefficient Boeing 747-200F with the more recent Boeing 747-400 type. This failed because of the high price tag and the shortage of this type of aircraft on the second hand market.

After the companys joint administrators secured an initial funding arrangement with Transatlantic Aviation Limited (TAA), part of The Belfairs Management Group of Companies, MK resumed operations in mid-June 2008 with a reduced fleet of five aircraft. In June 2009, MK Airlines, was officially released from Administration.

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