MARSEILLE-HEADQUARTERED container liner CMA CGM expanded its reach into air cargo logistics with the recent acquisition of a 30 per cent stake in a France-based airline group, as the shipping company works to provide custom packaged solutions to shippers.
The investment in Groupe Dubreuil Aero, which operates an air freight division covering French overseas territories, comprised a US$58 million capital increase subscription and the acquisition of shares. It will give CMA CGM a 30 per cent ownership of Air Caraibes and French Bee airlines that serve Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana, Reunion, and Polynesia, the carrier said in a statement.
"The acquisition of this stake will enable the CMA CGM Group to strengthen its position in air freight," said Rodolphe Saade, chairman and CEO of CMA CGM.
The carrier will have access to additional air freight capacity through Hi Line Cargo, a subsidiary of Groupe DUBREUIL Aero that markets the belly cargo capacity of the two airlines. Air Caraibes and French Bee operate a fleet of 14 long-haul aircraft, including eight Airbus A350s that can carry 15 to 25 tonnes of freight.
CMA CGM said the acquisition of a stake in Hi Line Cargo will allow the group to offer services "complementary to ocean freight, while keeping a hold on the transport chain in markets served by both groups."
Jean-Paul Dubreuil, chairman of Groupe Dubreuil Aero, said the partnership with fellow French company CMA CGM strengthened the airline group's equity capital. He said it would enable the airline to "look forward more confidently to the turbulent period that the air transport sector is going through, by preparing for the rebound and future growth of the division."
CMA CGM is already present in the air freight business through its ownership of CEVA Logistics, and this latest acquisition, although in a limited geographical area, continues the carrier's expansion into the wider integrated logistics space, reports IHS Media.