French maritime group CMA CGM embarks on airfreight with four aircraft operated by Air Belgium


The French maritime group CMA CGM renounces its 30% stake in Air Caraïbes and French Bee, two companies of the Dubreuil Group, and prefers to embark on airfreight by itself, purchasing four Airbus A330-200F which will be operated by Air Belgium, based in Liège.

It is a blow for Air Caraïbes and French Bee, the two airlines of the Dubreuil Group. The takeover by the maritime giant of 30% of the capital of Groupe Dubreuil Aero will not take place.

Instead, CMA CGM will attempt its solo air cargo adventure by creating an air cargo division called CMA CGM Air Cargo, made up, not of two aircraft as recently indicated in the press, but of four Airbus A330-200F aircraft, all purchased from Qatar Airways, to be operated by Air Belgium and based in Liège, Belgium.

The aircraft (MSN 1584, 1594, 1688 and 1708 with Trent 700 engines) are rather young, having been assembled between 2014 and 2016. Qatar Airways has replaced them with larger Boeing 777F aircraft.

The first aircraft is still in Doha, but on Thursday it got its Belgian registration, appropriately OO-CMA. The first flights could serve the United States as soon as in March. 

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