CMA CGM Air Cargo, the fledgling freighter venture of the French shipping line by the same name, has pulled out of the U.S. market again and redeployed aircraft to Asia and the Middle East, the company confirmed.
FreightWaves reported last week that CMA CGM’s website no longer showed Chicago and Miami as destinations for its freighter fleet. The last time a CMA CGM aircraft departed Chicago was on April 29, according to flight tracking site Flightradar24. The freighter deployed on the Chicago route is now being used on a new route to Mumbai, India.
CMA CGM Air Cargo resumed service to the United States in January after abruptly suspending operations to Chicago and Atlanta late last year so two Airbus A330 planes could temporarily work for Qatar Airways and DHL Express. The company said at the time that the decision had more to do with steps required to register the aircraft in France. In January, it told FreightWaves that Chicago and Miami “will remain key destinations of our network.”
One year into a shipping downturn, CMA CGM Air Cargo is still searching for optimal routes to deploy its small fleet of four A330-200s and two Boeing 777 cargo jets.
CMA CGM Air Cargo discontinued its own scheduled service to the U.S. in late March “to deploy its fleet to Asia, the Middle East and India,” the company said in a statement provided to FreightWaves.
Since May 15, the airline has been offering airlift from its home base at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Abu Dhabi, which is a stop on the route to Guangzhou, China. Service from Abu Dhabi to Paris will be available in the near future, the company said.
In early April, CMA CGM and Air France-KLM kicked off their 10-year alliance under which they will jointly market freighter capacity and combine networks and dedicated services to increase scale and competitiveness.
CMA CGM has two more 777s on order from Boeing and an order with Airbus for four all-new A350 freighters.
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