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CMA CGM opens trans-Pacific route, orders additional Boeing cargo plane

The logo of CMA-CGM shipping company in Montoir-de-Bretagne

PARIS (Reuters) - Shipping giant CMA CGM's air cargo branch will take delivery of two Boeing 777 Freighters later this year as it opens a new trans-Pacific route and has ordered a fifth one for next year, it said on Tuesday.

The French group has been pushing to expand its reach in logistics beyond maritime freight, supported by huge shipping profits in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The first aircraft, scheduled for delivery next June, will allow operations on the trans-Pacific from the summer, in anticipation of the high season. The second aircraft will be delivered during the last quarter of 2024 and will also be deployed on the transpacific," CMA CGM said in a statement.

The first B777-200F due to operate on the trans-Pacific route will serve Hong Kong, Chicago, and Seoul airports while the second will connect mainland China to North America, CMA CGM said. The flights will be operated by Atlas Air.

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CMA CGM AIR CARGO's fleet already includes two Boeing B777F and three Airbus A330F planes.

The company is due to take delivery of another B777-200F in the first quarter of 2025.

With the delivery of eight Airbus A350F from 2026, the company's fleet will include 16 cargo planes.

(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Louise Heavens)