Air France-KLM and logistics specialist CMA CGM will end their fledgling cargo partnership deal in March, citing regulatory challenges which have prevented it working as envisaged, but are in talks over fresh co-operation terms.

The SkyTeam airline group began a cargo commercial co-operation arrangement with CMA CGM in April last year. Under an envisaged 10-year tie-up, the two companies planned ultimately to jointly operate up to a dozen dedicated freighters. 

KLM Cargo onboard April 2020

However, in a joint statement issued today, the partners say that the ”tight regulatory environment in certain important markets” has prevented the co-operation ”from working in an optimal way”.

Consequently the companies are pulling their existing agreements from 31 March. The partners though have started talks over new terms and conditions of a commercial relationship to operate independently from the end of March onwards.

”Both groups remain committed to work collaboratively, to ensure cargo customers can continue to benefit from their respective networks,” Air France-KLM and CMA CGM say.

CMA-CGM took a 9% stake in Air France-KLM as part of its co-operation and the companies say the logistics firm “remains a core shareholder” in the airline group. They have amended the existing lock-up on CMA CGM shares, which it acquired as part of recapitalisation last year, to remain in effect until the end of February next year.