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CMA CGM Air Cargo adds first Middle East destinations

Ocean carrier can combine in-house airline and logistics for sea-air service

Ocean shipping line CMA CGM’s new air cargo division said Wednesday it is extending its fledgling network beyond the U.S. with the addition of destinations in Dubai, Beirut and Istanbul. 

The cargo airline began operating two months ago and currently serves Chicago, New York and Atlanta with four Airbus A330-200 freighters operated under contract by Air Belgium, a tourist carrier that is also new to the dedicated air cargo market.

Airfreight capacity is extremely tight so any extra capacity, no matter how small, is helpful to cargo owners.

CMA CGM Air Cargo’s home base is Liège, Belgium, which will serve as a transloading point for shipments between the U.S. and the new Middle East destinations.

Service to Dubai is scheduled to begin May 19. Dubai is a major trade hub for ocean and air freight moving between Europe, Asia and Africa. CMA CGM, which also owns CEVA Logistics, said the Dubai service opens the opportunity to provide customers with a combined sea-air service. 

Logistics providers are arranging more sea-air moves these days because it is less expensive than pure airfreight and offers an alternative during a period when ocean vessels are fully booked.

CMA CGM Air Cargo said it plans to start regular services from Liège to Beirut and Istanbul in the next few weeks. 

The all-cargo carrier recently flew humanitarian relief from France to India, which is experiencing a devastating outbreak of COVID-19 infections.

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.


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Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government coverage and news analysis, and was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. Eric is based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached for comments and tips at