CMA CGM, the second company to commit to A350 freighters

CMA CGM has become the second company to commit to the new Airbus A350 cargo plane as the French logistics group continues to expand in the air freight market.

The shipping giant, which launched its CMA CGM Air Cargo business earlier this year, has signed a memorandum of understanding to purchase four of its type.

The commitment, which Airbus hopes to finalize in the “coming weeks”, comes a few days after Air Lease placed the first provisional order for seven such units at the Dubai air show.

CMA CGM has stated that it will also submit an application to launch an airline – its current four aircraft are operated by Air Belgium – and has filed an application for an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) with the Authority of the French civil aviation.

The new aircraft, which will join the Group’s fleet in spring 2022, will be registered in France and will be based at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport.

“The creation of a French freight airline also requires the initial recruitment of around fifty pilots who will join the CMA CGM group in the coming weeks, and the setting up of a structure dedicated to air freight operations of the group, “said the shipping group.

In a press release, Airbus also detailed the capabilities of the cargo model.

The company said more than 70% of the airframe is made of advanced materials, reducing takeoff weight by 30 tonnes, resulting in at least 20% lower fuel consumption than its competitor. nearest current.

“With a payload capacity of 109 tonnes (plus three tonnes / 11% more volume than its competitors), the A350F serves all freight markets (Express, general freight, special freight, etc.) and is in the category large freighters the only new generation cargo aircraft. ready for ICAO 2027 enhanced CO ₂ emissions standards.

Earlier this month, Air Lease became the first company to subscribe to the new cargo model.

CMA CGM already operates five A330-200Fs and announced in September plans to add a pair of Boeing 777 freighters.

Christian Scherer, Airbus Commercial Director, said: “We are proud to welcome CMA CGM Air Cargo to the A350F group of operators and we are also delighted to support the future strategic development of the company.

“Having early approval from a global freight powerhouse like the CMA CGM Group is very gratifying. “

CMA CGM is not the only shipping company to invest in the air freight industry as it seeks to offer complete supply chain solutions.

Earlier this month, AP Moller Maersk announced that Star Air, its in-house aircraft operator, will purchase two new B777 Freighters to be delivered by Boeing in 2024 and lease three B767-300 Freighters which will be operational next year through Cargo Aircraft Management, the rental arm of ATSG.

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