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Airbus A350F launch customer CMA CGM Air Cargo orders another four aircraft 

Specialist airfreight carrier CMA CGM Air Cargo has announced that it has placed an order for four Airbus A350Fs, in addition to the four A350Fs the carrier ordered in 2021. All eight of the new planes, for which the company will be the launch commercial customer, are expected to be in service by the end of 2027, allowing the company to offer its services on a global scale for the first time. 

CMA CGM Air Cargo, the cargo airline of the CMA CGM shipping group, operates primarily out of Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris, France. 

CMA CGM became the second company to sign up for Airbus’ new A350 freighter as the French logistics group continued its expansion in the global air cargo market. The shipping giant, which launched its CMA CGM Air Cargo business in 2021, signed a memorandum of understanding covering the purchase of four initial A350Fs. The commitment came just days after leasing giant Air Lease Corporation placed the first provisional order for seven of the type during the 2021 Dubai Air Show. 

“As the launch customer for the cargo version of the A350, CMA CGM Air Cargo has opted for the most environmentally efficient aircraft on the market, reinforcing the company’s commitment to sustainable transport,” said a company statement. “The A350F model stands out for a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to its direct competitors. The A350F will also be the only large freighter capable of meeting the CO2 standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which will come into effect from 2028.”  

To date, Airbus has confirmed orders for 55 A350Fs from airlines including Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and its latest customer, Starlux of Taiwan. 

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Meanwhile, CMA GGM has announced that it will acquire three Boeing 777-200Fs, with the first aircraft due to arrive in June 2024. Two of the three aircraft will be dedicated to a new transpacific route connecting Asia to North America during the summer of 2024.  

The new route will serve airports in Hong Kong, Chicago, and Seoul. The second aircraft will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2024 and will connect mainland China to North America. Flights will be operated by CMA CGM’s partner airline Atlas Air. The third aircraft is set to arrive in 2025. 

Currently, the CMA-CGM Air Cargo Group fleet consists of two Boeing 777-200Fs and three Airbus A330Fs, all of which are based at the carrier’s Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) hub.  

The current 777F fleet operates twice-weekly flights between Europe and China, serving the major air cargo hubs in Hong Kong and Shanghai.  

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Of the three A330Fs, two are chartered by a third party, while the third operates connections between Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Mumbai (BOM) in India, and Guangzhou (CAN) in China three times per week.   

The CMA CGM Air Cargo website states that the company “offers a complete range of solutions for the transportation of sensitive products, such as hazardous goods, temperature-controlled cargo, perishables, live animals and high-value products”. 


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