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Air France-KLM and CMA CGM to share air cargo capacity


Written by Eric Apim on Thursday, May 19th 2022 à 15:00 | Read 263 times


The signing of an exclusive strategic partnership between the airline group Air France-KLM and the Marseille-based shipping company CMA CGM will allow the pooling of their respective cargo networks and all-cargo aircraft capacities.


Air France-KLM and CMA CGM pool their air cargo capacities (photo: CMA CGM)
Air France-KLM and CMA CGM pool their air cargo capacities (photo: CMA CGM)
FRANCE. The air freight industry is seeing the arrival of a new powerful player with the signing, announced on Wednesday 18 May 2022, of a partnership between the French-Dutch group Air France-KLM and CMA CGM. Described as a "major long-term strategic partnership", it includes industrial cooperation between the airline giant and the Marseille-based shipping company, a specialist in global supply chains. 

The two entities will jointly market all of their respective air cargo capacities and will therefore unite their cargo networks and their services dedicated to all-cargo aircraft "to build an ever more competitive offer", a press release states. The fleet concerned includes four all-cargo aircraft at CMA CGM Cargo (created in March 2021) and six all-cargo aircraft at Air France-KLM. Positioned at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam-Schiphol airports, they are operated by Air France, KLM and Martinair.

Current orders from CMA CGM (eight aircraft, two of which could be operated by Air France-KLM in the future) and Air France KLM (four aircraft) are included in the agreement.

The combination also includes the hold capacity of Air France-KLM passenger aircraft, i.e. some 160 long-haul aircraft serving 295 destinations in 110 countries.

Benjamin Smlith and Rodolphe Saadé combine the skills of their respective groups (photo: CMA CGM)
Benjamin Smlith and Rodolphe Saadé combine the skills of their respective groups (photo: CMA CGM)

A partnership effective in January 2023

"The partnership will be based on the two partners' respective global sales teams, which will speak to customers with one voice," the two companies said. It is expected to generate significant revenue synergies, including through the joint definition of all-cargo networks and opportunities to expand the range of transportation products and services offered. It will be effective in January 2023, subject to approval by the relevant regulators and consultation with employee representatives.

For Rodolphe Saadé, CEO of the CMA CGM Group, this partnership "significantly accelerates the development of our air division, CMA CGM Air Cargo, which was created just over a year ago, and positions our two companies among the world's leading players in the air freight industry. This partnership is fully in line with CMA CGM's strategy and its ambition to become a leader in integrated logistics for its customers.  This industrial cooperation is part of the shipping group's strategy to develop and provide end-to-end shipping and logistics solutions to support its customers' supply chains. CMA CGM has been making acquisitions in logistics for the past three years. It has acquired CEVA Logistics, Commerce & Lifecycle Services (CLS) from Ingram Micro, Colis Privé and most recently, in April 2022, Gefco.

CMA CGM is a world leader in maritime, land, air and logistics solutions, with a presence in 160 countries and some 400 offices and 750 warehouses worldwide. It carries 400,000 tonnes of air freight and 2.8 million tonnes of land freight annually.

"This strategic partnership takes full advantage of the complementary skills, expertise and activities of Air France-KLM and CMA CGM. This is a key step that will significantly strengthen and develop the Group's position in the air cargo sector," said Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM.

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