The new air freight division of the CMA CGM Group, a French container transportation and shipping company, has just completed its first cargo flight between Europe and the United States. Based at Liege Airport (LGG), the global shipping giant flew its recently acquired Airbus A330-200F from LGG to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) on March 13.

The aircraft, registration number OO-CMA, is the first of four second-hand freighters that CMA CGM is buying for its new air cargo division, aptly named CMA CGM AIR CARGO. Because of the huge demand for air freight, rather than waiting to purchase new aircraft, the planes were acquired from Qatar Airways Cargo. Likewise, rather than waiting to get its Air Operators Certificate (AOC), CMA CGM AIR CARGO’s aircraft will be operating under Air Belgiums AOC.

Under its plan of offering daily flights from one of the most strategically placed logistics airports in Europe, CMA CGM AIR CARGO says it offers customers the following benefits:

  • Unbeatable transit times for urgent shipments
  • Connections from Europe to Chicago with intermodal connections in several regions
  • Fast and agile solutions to meet all customer’s needs.

Why Liege Airport?

With its strategic location at the heart of the Amsterdam-Paris-Frankfurt golden triangle, Liege Airport handles 73% of all European air freight. Located less than a day’s drive from most European cities, Liege Airport is easily accessed by a superb network of uncongested motorways. While focusing primarily on air freight, the Liege airport operators can offer the facilities and prices that other airports cannot match.

CMA CGM AIR CARGO also chose Air Belgium to operate its aircraft because its CEO Niky Terzakis used to be the boss at Liege Aiport-based TNT Airlines. So not only does Niky Terzakis know how to run an airline, but he also understands air freight logistics.

Liege Airport is happy with CMA CGM

When talking about CMA CGM Groups decision to base its aircraft at Liege Airport, CEO of Liege Airport Frédéric Jacquet is quoted by Belgium aviation website of saying:

“We are really proud to be hosting a world-renowned group such as CMA CGM as it develops its cargo operations. A French family group that draws on the expertise of a Belgian company such as Air Belgium, works with Sabena Aerospace for its maintenance, and bases its aircraft at Liege Airport: what we have here is three companies coming together with the same overall ambition to grow and develop.

“The selection of Liege Airport shows once again not only that it has a prominent place in the world of cargo, but also and above all that it is playing an important role in a multimodal vision of logistics. We are delighted to welcome CMA CGM to Liège and to be partners in their projects.”

Liege Airport is playing a vital role

While acting as a vital link in delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) worldwide to help combat the COVID-19 pandemicLiege Airport saw a 24% increase in cargo than 2019, with 1,120,643 metric tons passing through the facility. Liege Airport now hopes to play a vital role in the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines around the world.

CMA CGM AIR CARGO expects the second of its four Airbus A330-200F to begin regular flights between Liege and the United States in the coming days.

What do you think about CMA CGM AIR CARGO operating cargo flights to the United States from Belgium? Please tell us what you think in the comments.