Ocean container line CMA CGM’s new in-house cargo airline will operate its first flight March 8 from its home base at Liege Airport to Chicago, the company said Tuesday. It also confirmed earlier reports that Air Belgium will operate the fleet of four previously owned Airbus A330-200 freighters that it recently acquired.
In addition to diversifying its freight business, the move into air cargo gives the French ocean carrier’s huge logistics arm, CEVA Logistics, a leg up securing hard-to-find transport space for cargo shipments. CMA CGM said in the announcement that it is developing a block space agreement with CEVA, giving the subsidiary preferential access to its capacity at a time of supply shortage in the industry.
Block-space agreements are continuous reservations that give forwarding agents guaranteed access to a set amount of space on each flight that is paid for regardless of whether it is all occupied or not.
CMA CGM also said it has selected Groupe ECS as its general sales agent to help market its capacity, handle bookings and manage shipment processing for non-CEVA customers.
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Source: American Shipper