CMA CGM, the France-based shipping giant, has confirmed its CMA CGM Air Cargo (CMA, Paris CDG) subsidiary is currently pursuing an air operator's certificate (AOC) from the French civil aviation authority (Direction générale de l’aviation civile - DGAC) with Paris CDG to be its main hub. At present, the firm relies on Air Belgium (KF, Brussels Charleroi) to operate its fleet of four A330-200Fs on its behalf.

Announcing its third quarter results, CMA CGM said all future aircraft would be placed onto its AOC including the two B777-Fs ordered from Boeing last month with deliveries due in spring next year. In addition, during the recent Dubai Air Show, it signed a binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for the purchase of four A350Fs. Once finalised in the coming weeks, the order will see CMA CGM become the type's launch operator, increasing its overall Airbus fleet to nine aircraft, including a fifth unspecified A330-200F.

"With a carrying capacity of more than 100 tonnes and an operating range of some 9,000 kilometres, the A350F will enable CMA CGM Air Cargo to reinforce its long-haul offer, to better meet the needs of its customers and their markets," it said.

During the show, Air Lease Corporation also signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for seven A350Fs.