The shipping company CMA CGM has only owned aircraft since the beginning of 2021. The Belgian airline Air Belgium operates these four Airbus A330-200F for the shipping and logistics company from Marseille. Now they want to buy even bigger Boeing 777-F freighters.
CMA CGM is the largest shipping company in France and was created in 1999 through the merger of the two shipping companies Compagnie Générale Maritime (CGM) and Compagnie Maritime d'Affrètement (CMA). According to its own information, CMA CGM operates a fleet of 566 ships and thus serves 420 ports worldwide. After the Danish Maersk and the Swiss MSC, it is the third largest container ship shipping company in the world. The approximately 110 employees work in 000 countries.
At the beginning of 2021, Qatar Airways took over four Airbus A330-200F cargo planes. These are operated by the Belgian airline Air Belgium under the name CMA CGM Air Cargo. In this so-called CMI contract, the executing airline is responsible for the crew, maintenance and insurance, while the owner himself remains in possession of the aircraft. The Airbuses are registered in Belgium under the labels OO-AIR, OO-CMA, OO-CGM and OO-SEA.
From Liège, the destinations Atlanta, Chicago O'Hare, Dubai World Central, Istanbul and New York-JFK are served on scheduled cargo flights. In addition, other destinations are also served as required. The Airbus A340-300 (and soon the A330-900) used for passenger flights are based in Brussels-Charleroi.
French AOC planned
A few days ago job offers from CMA CGM appeared. Captains and first officers for the Boeing 777-F are wanted. The candidates should be at least 8000 resp. Have 5000 hours of flight experience, 1000 of them on the Boeing 777. The hiring date is set for January 1, 2022 and the job advertisement shows that CMA CGM Air Cargo France is aiming for its own AOC Air Operator Certificate in France.
With this, the CMA CGM Group wants to expand the flight business and station aircraft in France for the first time. In September 2020 they wanted to take a 30% stake in Groupe Dubreuil Aéro in order to be able to transport mainly cargo in the belly of Air Caraibes and French Bee planes. But as early as February 2021, people changed their minds and abandoned corresponding plans. The fact that its own airline is now being founded should cause headaches for Groupe Dubreuil and its freight subsidiary Hi Line Cargo.
Air Belgium is also expanding its freight fleet
Aviation.direct asked Air Belgium whether the AOC in France will bring about changes in its own freight operations. Niky Terzakis, the CEO of Air Belgium, mentioned to us that the contract will not be modified and will continue unchanged. From April 2022, three more cargo Airbus A330s will join Air Belgium's fleet. In contrast to the previous aircraft, these are not used for the CMA CGM. The Belgian airline, which initially tried its luck on scheduled flights to Hong Kong, has become a heavyweight in the European cargo business with seven A330 freighters.