Air France-KLM and CMA CGM sign Long-term Air Cargo Partnership

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Air France-KLM CMA CGM

Air France-KLM Group and the CMA CGM Group have announced that they have signed a long-term strategic partnership in the air cargo market. This exclusive partnership will see both parties combine their complementary cargo networks, full freighter capacity and dedicated services to build an even more competitive offer, thanks to the unrivalled know-how and global footprint of Air France-KLM and CMA CGM.

Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, said, “I am very pleased with this strategic partnership with Air France-KLM. It allows us to significantly accelerate the development of our air division, CMA CGM Air Cargo, which was created just over a year ago, and to position our two companies among the world’s leading players in air freight. This partnership is fully in line with CMA CGM’s strategy and its ambition to become a leader in integrated logistics for the benefit of its customers. Through our stake in the company, Air France-KLM will be able to count on us to support its future development.”

Mr Benjamin Smith, Air France-KLM Group CEO (Left) and Mr Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group (Right)

A 10-year exclusive strategic commercial partnership to strengthen their air cargo offering

CMA CGM and Air France-KLM share a strong ambition to invest and grow sustainably in the air freight business.

The agreement will have an initial duration of 10 years. Air France-KLM and CMA CGM will join and exclusively operate the full-freighter aircraft capacity of the respective airlines consisting initially of a fleet of 10 full-freighter aircraft, and an additional combined 12 aircraft on order:

  • 4 full-freighter aircraft at CMA CGM Air Cargo (with outstanding orders for an additional 8 aircraft, 2 of which may be operated by Air France-KLM in the future)
  • 6 full-freighter aircraft at Air France-KLM Group based at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (with outstanding orders for an additional 4 aircraft).

This new commercial partnership also covers Air France-KLM’s belly aircraft capacity, including over 160 long-haul aircraft. In addition, the partnership will leverage both partners’ respective global sales teams, presenting one voice to the customer.

Air France-KLM Group CEO Benjamin Smith, said, “This strategic partnership leverages the complementary skills, expertise and activities of Air France-KLM and CMA CGM. It is a landmark step which will significantly strengthen and expand the Group’s position in the air cargo industry. I am also extremely pleased that this commercial partnership with CMA CGM has resulted in their decision to invest directly in the Air France-KLM Group, demonstrating a strong testimony of their belief in the future success of our Group.”

The strategic commercial partnership is expected to generate significant revenue synergies, including the joint design of the full freighter networks and enhanced products and services mix opportunities. It will help meet customers’ ever-increasing need for more integrated and resilient supply chains and will leverage Air France-KLM’s vast existing franchise, experience and capabilities in air freight, backed by a global cargo network. CMA CGM will mobilize its large commercial network and global logistics platform and will complete this offer with innovative logistics and multimodal solutions, particularly in sea and land transport.

CMA CGM Group to become a reference shareholder of Air France-KLM Group

CMA CGM will reinforce its commitment to the air freight industry by becoming a new reference shareholder in Air France-KLM as part of this long-term exclusive partnership. CMA CGM intends to take up to 9% of Air France-KLM’s ex-post share capital for a period consistent with implementing the strategic commercial partnership.

This investment could be made as part of the contemplated capital increase of Air France-KLM, as announced on February 17th, 2022. In addition, Air France-KLM’s main shareholders will support a resolution for the appointment of one board member representing CMA CGM at the next shareholders’ meeting (May 24th, 2022). If approved by the shareholders’ meeting, such appointment would be subject to the completion of CMA CGM’s investment.

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Ryan is the Digital Marketing and Content Creation Manager for Trade and Logistics Siam Ltd. He provides a creative flair to the team and his resourcefulness helps to bring an imaginative improvement to both literary archetypes and online content production. A writer by day and a rider by night, when he's not composing the latest logistics news update or creating compelling copy for our clients, Ryan spends his free time travelling Thailand by motorbike.