Airline group Air France-KLM, have entered into a long-term strategic partnership with French cargo transporter company, CMA CGM.
A 10-Year global footprint
The Franco-Dutch airline group has launched its long-term partnership with CMA CGM. The agreement will initially run for 10 years.
Air France-KLM Cargo will combine its network, freighter capacity and services to provide an “even more compelling offering” of services. The partnership agreement was originally made public in May 2022. The agreement has now received all required authority approvals.
The partnership will look to the increasing demands of customers in the cargo market, especially on integrated and resilient supply chains that are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Air France-KLM will bring to the partnership its access to the global air cargo hubs at Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) along with its expertise and capabilities in the air cargo markets, such as access to cargo hold capacity on their airlines’ passenger networks.
CMA CGM is the world’s third-largest cargo shipping company, according to Alphaliner. With this comes large-scale access to a global commercial cargo network and a global logistics platform.
The deal looks to build on each group’s strengths for “customized, agile, efficient, and cost-effective services for customers.”
Combining efforts will provide customers with increased capacity on the network of all three companies as well as improved transits and connections to other logistical solutions.
Combining both groups’ aircraft fleets will create a combined resource of 12 full freighter aircraft. Six aircraft from CMA CGM will be based at CDG with the company having an additional six aircraft on order.
Air France-KLM will provide six additional full freighters in both CDG and AMS. Air France-KLM have orders for eight aircraft to replace and modernise the existing fleet.
The capacity in cargo holds of passenger aircraft will bring additional options to CMA CGM as Air France alone operates approximately 1500 global flights per day.
Future of air cargo
The airlines issued a joint statement on 3 April 2023. The Group aims to ensure its competitiveness in the air cargo markets.
Speaking on the partnership launch, Air France-KLM Group 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.”
Both companies have a shared ambition to invest and develop the future of the air cargo transportation industry. With a focus on game-changing solutions and optimisation of resources, the partnership has the desire to exceed industry standards.
Guillaume Lathelize, CEO of CMA CGM Air Cargo, said: “Our partnership will combine the best of both worlds: flexibility, agility and world class expertise for regular and dedicated service.”
Both companies have commitments to be leaders in sustainable aviation with the goal of Net Zero Carbon by 2050. Fleet renewals, economies of scale with efficiencies and the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) are common goals both groups.
Air France-KLM launched the world’s first SAF programme for air cargo in December 2021. This allows freight forwarders and shippers to access a scheme to reduce carbon emissions in the sector.
Likewise, CMA CGM Group has created a scheme called ‘Fund for Energies’ to assist in the transition to Net Zero Carbon by 2050. The fund has a 5-year budget to a value of 1.5 billion USD.
“With our experienced and dedicated teams and a powerful distribution platform, we look forward to further transforming the future through this partnership,” Den Heijer added.