The newly formed air freight arm of shipping giant CMA CGM is slowly expanding its network with the launch of the service between Paris and Mumbai (India) and appears to be withdrawing from the US market.
CMA CGM Air Cargo announced on Wednesday that an Airbus A330 freighter flies to Mumbai four times a week.
CMA CGM Air Cargo owns four A330-200 and two Boeing 777 cargo jets.
The airline’s network is still a work in progress as management tries to find the optimal markets for the limited fleet. In April, CMA CGM began scheduled services to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and Guangzhou in China. The main routes run from the base at Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport to Hong Kong and Shanghai.
The French airline apparently no longer serves the US market with its own equipment. Late last year, scheduled services to Chicago and Atlanta were suspended to allow two planes to temporarily offer contract flights for Qatar Airways and DHL, although the company said the decision had more to do with the steps required to register the plane in France.
Flights to Chicago and Miami resumed in January or February, but the website no longer shows those cities as destinations. According to flight tracking site Flightradar24, the last time a CMA CGM plane left Chicago was on April 29. The freighter used on the Chicago route is now used on the Mumbai route.
The email sent to CMA CGM’s US air freight sales address was bounced, suggesting that the email may no longer exist. CMA CGM’s media department did not respond to messages asking for clarification.
In early April, CMA CGM and Air France-KLM launched their ten-year alliance, under which they will jointly commercialize cargo capacity and combine networks and dedicated services to increase scale and competitiveness.
CMA CGM used its maritime war chest to create the airline division 18 months ago as part of its strategy to provide integrated logistics services to multinationals. The transport group also includes Ceva Logistics, a major provider of international freight management and warehouse distribution services.
The company has ordered two more 777s from Boeing and four all-new A350 freighters from Airbus.