It was announced in Nairobi yesterday that Kenya Airways has launched joint cargo services with KLM to operate from Nairobi to both Guangzhou / China and Lagos / Nigeria, with a link to Amsterdam.
The new cargo routing has been given as Amsterdam Guangzhou Sharjah Nairobi Lagos Nairobi – Amsterdam using the airlines B747-400F aircraft with a maximum uplift of 120 metric tons of palletized cargo.
The aircraft has been named Safari Connection highlighting the tourism potential between China, Europe and Kenya while flying cargo between the continents and has reportedly been sourced from Martinair, a subsidiary of the KLM / Air France Group which owns 26 percent of the Kenya Airways shares.
Kenya Airways uplifted some 56.000 tons of cargo on its wide body passenger aircraft in 2011 and is set to become a major force in cargo aviation with the imminent introduction of added cargo aircraft of B737-300F make, which will be deployed to deliver and collect cargo from the wider region and then process it via the airlines Nairobi hub. Said a regular aviation source from Nairobi:They have finally recognized that cargo operations need their own fleet if to be successful. They must have studied the success of Ethiopian Airlines which has for years been operating pure cargo aircraft and now that Nairobi is the biggest cargo transit point in Africa, KQ simply could not leave the bulk of the shipments to other airlines. They had to react and while it took them really far too long, they are finally now getting there.
It is further understood from a source close to the airline that as part of the ongoing and planned fleet expansion several more cargo aircraft are to be sourced in coming years to tap into the growing and profitable air cargo market and become the airline of choice in Africa, covering all political and commercial capitals across the continent. Watch this space for regular and breaking news from East Africas aviation sector.
By Wolfganghthome’s Blog