Air France-KLM and CMA CGM Group detail partnership goals and strategy

Air France-KLM and the CMA CGM Group officially launched the long-term strategic air cargo partnership they made public in May 2022 last week (3 April).

The partnership will have an initial duration of 10 years and will see Air France-KLM Martinair Cargo, part of Air France-KLM Group, and CMA CGM Air Cargo, part of the CMA CGM Group, combine their complementary cargo networks, full freighter capacity and dedicated services.

This agreement has received all the mandatory regulatory approvals from the competent authorities.

The companies said their partnership would “help meet customers’ ever-increasing need for more integrated and resilient supply chains. It will leverage Air France-KLM’s vast air cargo franchise, experience and capabilities, especially as they pertain to specialised cargo (pharmaceuticals, perishables, express, etc.), backed by a worldwide cargo network and facilities at its global hubs at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. For its part, CMA CGM will mobilise its large commercial network and global logistics platform.”

The partners hope to provide “customised, agile, efficient, and cost-effective” services for customers. The combined offering will allow them to benefit from greater freighter and belly capacity, a more extensive network of destinations, a mix of scheduled and charter flights, improved transit times and flexibility, as well as tailored connections across the world. Customers will benefit from enhanced customer support thanks to a global network of agencies, and a specialised service desk will address specific requirements, including a dedicated BIG desk for large shipments, they said.

Customers will have direct access to a dedicated online platform (‘myCargo’) and digital services for easy online bookings available 24/7, as well as expert customer service. CMA CGM flights have been available for booking on myCargo since 20 March, 2023, and customers can book and combine flights operated by Air France, KLM, Martinair or CMA CGM Air Cargo.

Air France-KLM and CMA CGM will jointly operate the full-freighter aircraft capacity of their respective airlines. Their combined capacity currently consists of a modern and efficient fleet of up to 12 full-freighter aircraft – six at at CMA CGM Air Cargo (with outstanding orders for an additional six aircraft), and six at Air France-KLM Group (with outstanding orders for eight aircraft, replacing the existing fleet).

The commercial partnership also covers Air France-KLM’s belly aircraft capacity, including 160+ long-haul aircraft.

Air France-KLM Group’s EVP cargo and cooperation lead Adriaan Den Heijer said: “We are very pleased with the operational implementation of our strategic long-term air cargo partnership with CMA CGM Air Cargo. It will accelerate the expansion of our cargo business, a strategic activity for the Air France-KLM Group, by opening up a wide range of new opportunities, in terms of offerings, destinations and solutions to our customers. With our experienced and dedicated teams and a powerful distribution platform, we look forward to further transforming the future through this partnership.”

Guillaume Lathelize, CEO of CMA CGM Air Cargo, said: “Our commercial joint-venture with Air France KLM Martinair is now effective. CMA CGM AIR CARGO is France’s leading full-freighter airline, and operates six aircraft. The company has demonstrated its flexibility and agility with scheduled services and charter solutions for key logistics players. Our partnership will combine the best of both worlds: flexibility, agility and world class expertise for regular and dedicated service.”

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