Freight forwarder CMA CGM has signed a deal Air France-KLM for a joint freighter network and to take a stake of up to 9% in the Franco-Dutch airline.
The freighter deal will initially create a fleet of ten full aircraft – four from CMA CGM and six from Air France KLM – but will include a total of 12 additional aircraft that are on order for the two operators. The joint venture will ultimately include CMA CGM’s outstanding orders for eight additional aircraft and Air France-KLM’s outstanding orders for an additional four aircraft, potentially creating a fleet of 22 freighters.
The deal will also include Air France-KLM’s belly aircraft capacity, comprising over 160 long-haul aircraft.
CMA CGM Group also plans to become a shareholder of Air France-KLM Group and plans to take up to 9% of Air France-KLM’s ex-post share capital, subject to approval at the next shareholders’ meeting on 24 May.
The partners will also create a single sales force. The move is expected to increase revenue significantly as well create a more integrated and resilient supply chain.
Marseille-headquartered CMA CGM created its CMA CGM Air Cargo arm, including full freighter operations, in March 2021 and its acquisitions over the last three years include CEVA Logistics, and logistics company GEFCO.
Chairman and chief executive of the CMA CGM Group, Rodolphe Saadé said the move would significantly accelerate the development of CMA CGM Air Cargo, and was fully in line with CMA CGM’s strategy to become a leader in integrated logistics
Air France-KLM Group chief executive Benjamin Smith added: that it would significantly strengthen and expand its position in the air cargo industry.