Air France-KLM and the CMA CGM Group announced today the effective launch of the long-term strategic air cargo partnership they made public in May 2022. This 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 to build an even more compelling offering thanks to their unrivalled knowhow and global footprint.
This agreement has received all the mandatory regulatory approvals from the competent authorities.
Meeting customers’ needs with unique seamless services across the globe
The partnership will 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 specialized cargo (pharmaceuticals, perishables, express, etc.), backed by a worldwide cargo network and state-of-the-art facilities at its global hubs at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. For its part, CMA CGM will mobilize its large commercial network and global logistics platform.
The deal will tap into the groups’ respective strengths to provide customized, 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 specialized service desk will address specific requirements, including a dedicated BIG desk for large shipments.
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. Since March 20, 2023, CMA CGM flights are available for booking on myCargo and customers can easily book and combine flights operated by Air France, KLM, Martinair or CMA CGM Air Cargo on this industry-leading digital one-stop shop.
More capacity with a modern, efficient and more sustainable full-freighter fleet
With this deal, 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:
- 6 full-freighter aircraft at CMA CGM Air Cargo, initially based at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport (with outstanding orders for an additional 6 aircraft,);
- 6 full-freighter aircraft at Air France-KLM Group based at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (with outstanding orders for 8 aircraft, notably replacing the existing fleet).
The commercial partnership also covers Air France-KLM’s belly aircraft capacity, including 160+ long-haul aircraft.
All set for the future of air cargo
In addition, this partnership aims at strengthening the companies’ competitiveness in the air cargo industry.
With a shared ambition to invest in and shape the future of air cargo business, the two partners will develop game-changing solutions through the continued optimization of resources and processes to levels exceeding industry standards, and press on with their efforts in the field of smart digitalization intended to benefit the industry as a whole.
Both groups also aim to be at the forefront of sustainable aviation and have committed to Net Zero Carbon by 2050. They plan to reduce their environmental footprint by investing in fleet renewal, with firm orders for next-generation aircraft (notably the Airbus A350F), and through the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF). In December 2021, Air France-KLM launched the world’s first SAF program for the air cargo industry, effectively enabling freight forwarders and shippers to participate in reducing CO₂ emissions by the aviation sector. The CMA CGM Group has decided to create a Fund for Energies. Backed by a five-year, USD 1.5 billion budget, and a dedicated team, it aims to accelerate the energy transition in order to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2050. The Fund invests to support the industrial production of new fuels, as well as low-emission mobility solutions across the Group’s business base.
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. 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 6 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.”
 The current scope of the cooperation excludes North America (U.S.A., Mexico, Canada), Russia, Turkey, and Mauritius.
2 Aircraft could be independently deployed by the carriers on destinations outside the scope of their cooperation.