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  • Kenya Airways Cargo introduced a pair of Boeing 737-800 converted freighters two months ago to expand its cargo capacity.
  • Kenya Airways will also resume direct passenger flights between Nairobi and Mogadishu starting 15th February 2024.
  • KQ already operates the passenger version of the 737-800.

Kenya Airways Cargo (KQ Cargo) has expanded its route network to include direct cargo flights between Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Mogadishu in Somalia.

The new route will be served weekly, effective 09th February 2024, and is expected to grow to two (2) weekly frequencies in April 2024. KQ Cargo has partnered with GSA Global Cargo LLC, a global cargo sales and service agent based out of UAE, as the cargo logistics partner to service the route.

KQ Cargo recently increased its freight capacities with the entry into service of a B737-800F, which offers an extended range, connecting vital cargo hubs and opening new opportunities for cargo services to meet customers’ demands and an ever-evolving market.

According to Kenya Airways Cargo Director Dick Murianki, the new route aligns with KQ’s revamped mission of propelling Africa’s prosperity by connecting its people, cultures and markets and strengthening KQ Cargo’s position as Africa’s preferred cargo carrier, offering unique network options for customers.

“We are delighted to expand our world-class logistics service to underserved markets with a solid product, and we believe in having a direct service complemented by Dubai’s trader, transit, humanitarian, and project-driven traffic. The direct route between UAE and Somalia offers huge demand for air freight transportation, particularly high-tech consumer goods, automotive parts, project cargo, and clothing, which are the most frequently flown goods on the route. Kenya Airways has the expertise in the region, and our B737-800F’s apt capacity would be the ideal mix over the long term,” says Mr. Murianki.

Kenya Airways Cargo has witnessed significant growth in recent years, driven by the increasing demand for air freight services globally.

The rise of e-commerce and the need for rapid and reliable transportation of goods has propelled the cargo business to new heights. Kenya Airways has capitalized on this trend by expanding its cargo capacity, investing in technology, and forging strategic partnerships with leading logistics providers.

On his part, the CEO of GSA Global Cargo LLC, Mr. Kannan Nachiappan, said that the direct connection between UAE and Somalia offers customers more capacity, cuts transit times and reduces costs.

“UAE, being a multimodal logistics hub, acts as a primary gateway to Africa, and having a dedicated KQ Cargo freighter to offer this service helps cut transit times and offer scheduled main deck capacity into several remote destinations across the region. This service would cover a market characterised by narrow body belly-only options, lengthy transit times, and expensive rates,” says Mr. Nachiappan.

Kenya Airways will also resume direct passenger flights between Nairobi and Mogadishu starting 15th February 2024.

Kenya Airways Cargo Growth Plan 

Kenya Airways Cargo introduced a pair of Boeing 737-800 converted freighters two months ago to expand its cargo capacity.

The flag carrier says the freighters will contribute to its “diversification strategy” and address a “growing demand” for cargo carriage in the region.

Kilavuka stated that the carrier will use the 737s on routes to Dubai World Central – the location of the city’s Al Maktoum airport – and Sharjah, plus the Saudi Arabian cities of Riyadh and Jeddah.

He also identified destinations including Mumbai and the African cities of Lagos, Dakar, N’Djamena, Mogadishu, Freetown and Monrovia.

Kenya Airways already operates the passenger version of the 737-800.

Kenya Airways cargo director Dick Murianki had told Air Cargo News of the carrier’s plan to add the freighters earlier this year.

Murianki said the -800s have a better range and can reach further in the field than the existing freighters.

Read Also: KQ Cargo in new codesharing deal to boost trade between Africa, Middle East

He said that once the two 737-800Fs are in place, the carrier would then examine long-haul freighters.

On the reasoning behind the freighter investments, Murianki said that during the Covid crisis, the airline had expanded its cargo operations using its passenger aircraft.

“We developed a customer base during the Covid time that is yearning for more, especially to the Middle East and India,” he said.

Source of original article: Industry and Trade – The Exchange (theexchange.africa).
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