CMA CGM switches up fleet plans with four additional A350Fs and an extra 777F

Source: CMA CGM

CMA CGM Air Cargo has outlined new plans for its freighter fleet following the breakdown of its partnership with Air France KLM.

The airline was previously due to take delivery of two Boeing 777-200Fs and four Airbus A350Fs, but this has now been expanded to three 777Fs and eight A350Fs.

The CMA CGM-owned airline said that the two outstanding 777Fs would be delivered this year with the third due to join the fleet in the first quarter of next year.

They will be used to expand transpacific operations and will be operated by Atlas Air.

Damien Mazaudier, chief executive of CMA CGM Air Cargo, said: “Our expansion into the transpacific lane marks a turning point in the company’s history by connecting a new continent to our network and aligns with the ambition of the CMA CGM Group to offer a range of solutions to its customers.

“This lane opening will enable us to offer even more destinations to our customers on major routes.”

The first 777-200F is due to join the fleet in June and will serve airports in Hong Kong, Chicago, and Seoul. The second will join in the fourth quarter and will connect mainland China to North America.

The eight A350Fs – a model yet to hit the skies – will be delivered between 2026 and 2027 and will be used to enable “global coverage”.

Mazaudier added: “Today’s announcement represents a new step in the development of our business, which we aim to make global, and will take another step forward again in 2026 with the arrival of the A350F, the most environmentally friendly aircraft on the market.”

CMA CGM said that the A350F model offers a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to its direct competitors and will meet the CO2 standards established by ICAO that come into effect from 2028.

The changes come after CMA CGM’s partnership with Air France KLM Martinair Cargo broke down due to the constraints of a “tight regulatory environment”.

The partnership started in April 2023 but was stopped at the end of March this year. It was originally due to run for 10 years and gave CMA CGM Air Cargo access to a global network.

But with these plans in tatters, the carrier has been forced to go it alone in building a fleet that is able to provide the global coverage sought by major customers.

Currently, the CMA CGM Air Cargo fleet consists of two 777Fs and three A330Fs, which are based at the Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) hub.

The two B777F aircraft operate connections between Europe and Greater China: five flights per week to Hong Kong and four flights per week to Shanghai.

For the three A330F in the fleet today, two are chartered for a third party, while the third operates connections between Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Mumbai, and Guangzhou three times a week.

Air France-KLM and CMA CGM end capacity partnership

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]