cma cgm air cargo

CMA CGM Air Cargo’s (CCAC) pilot union has called a strike, to run from yesterday to Friday – however, most of its aircraft appear to be operating today.

A source has also told The Loadstar that the airline’s CEO, Guillaume Lathelize, is to be replaced by Damien Mazaudier, a former CMA executive currently CEO of Monaco private helicopter flight company Monacair. CMA has not responded to requests for confirmation of the appointment.

Meanwhile, pilots’ union the SNPL said it had filed a strike notice, which was likely to be renewed, in the face of a lack of “social dialogue” with the carrier.

The union said the airline had recruited pilots in September 2021, at a time when large numbers of pilots were seeking jobs due to the pandemic. That led, it claimed, to employment and remuneration rules that “were well below what was practised in competing airlines”.

It added: “The pilots had agreed to sign on these conditions, because the company had promised them a very rapid improvement in these conditions.”

Noting that the job market for pilots had now changed, the union said conditions should be renegotiated, especially because the first year of operations for the carrier was “largely profitable”.

It said: “Given that the sector is doing better and better, none of the economic arguments, negative according to management, can explain such working conditions. Indeed, everywhere the conditions of employment and remuneration of pilots are improving, except at CCAC where the remuneration and working conditions of flight crew members remain much lower than those practised in France and elsewhere in Europe. This refusal by management to improve working conditions is unacceptable for CCAC pilots.”

The SNPL has been asking for better terms for “several months”, but in return, claimed the union, management proposed “a completely unacceptable schedule of negotiations and the granting of measures, decided unilaterally and clearly insufficient with regard to the legitimate expectations and claims of the pilots”.

The union added that a “large number” of the carrier’s 120+ pilots wanted to leave the company, and it would be hard to recruit more on the current terms.

CMA CGM Air Cargo currently operates five freighters. A flight tracking website shows that one aircraft hasn’t flown since landing in Bordeaux on 3 July. However, at least two are in the sky, while the others appear to have a departure time scheduled.

Neither the union nor the airline responded to requests for further comment.

Meanwhile, CMA veteran Mr Lathelize was appointed head of the airline in October to replace Olivier Casanova, who held the post for a year. A source at the carrier told The Loadstar last month some managers were leaving the company, adding: “There have been quite a few changes and not everyone is happy with some of the new people.”

Mr Mazaudier has led the helicopter company for nearly seven years; prior to which he spent five years as CMA CGM’s CFO – terminal division. Mr Lathelize has been at CMA for 15 years, with his previous job as VP global commercial for the shipping line.

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