Shipping company CMA CGM Group and Air France-KLM Group have signed a long-term strategic partnership in the air cargo market. The exclusive partnership will see both parties combine their complementary cargo networks, full freighter capacity and dedicated services.

The agreement will have an initial duration of ten 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 ten full-freighter aircraft, and an additional combined twelve aircraft on order. The partnership also covers Air France-KLM’s belly aircraft capacity, including over 160 long-haul aircraft.

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Revenue synergies

The partnership is to leverage both partners’ respective global sales teams, presenting one voice to the customer.

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.

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Reference shareholder of Air France-KLM Group

As part of this long-term exclusive partnership, CMA CGM will reinforce its commitment in the air freight industry by becoming a new reference shareholder in Air France-KLM. CMA CGM has the firm intention to take up to nine per cent of Air France-KLM’s ex-post share capital, for a period consistent with the implementation of the strategic commercial partnership.

‘I am very pleased with this strategic partnership with Air France-KLM,’ says Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group. ‘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.’

The deal is still subject to approval by the relevant regulators and consultation of employee representatives.