Kenya Airways increases cargo capacity with additional freighters
Dick Murianki | Airfreight | logistics | SupplyChain | transport
Par Ibrahima DIALLO
25 November 2023 / 11:57

Kenya Airways introduces a pair of Boeing 737-800s converted into freighters to increase its cargo capacity. The national carrier claims that the freighters will contribute to its "diversification strategy" and meet a "growing demand" for cargo transport in the region.

Kenya Airways currently operates two older 737-300 freighters. He said he was launching 737-800F operations at a logistics event in Nairobi this week, and said a second aircraft should enter service in February next year.

"With the addition of this [new] freighter, Kenya Airways will now offer increased cargo capacity on existing routes as well as new cargo destinations," said Managing Director Allan Kilavuka.

He said there was a need for African entities to invest in sustainable freight operations - including airfreight - to advance socio-economic development. Kilavuka said the carrier will use the 737s on routes to Dubai World Central - the location of the city's Al Maktoum airport - as well as Sharjah, and the Saudi cities of Riyadh and Jeddah.

It has also identified destinations such as 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 that the carrier was planning to add cargo planes earlier this year.

Murianki said that the -800s have a better range and can reach further than existing freighters. "They can go from Nairobi to the Middle East and India and even have the range to reach Istanbul and southern Europe carrying around 20 tonnes," he explained. He said that once the two 737-800Fs were in place, the carrier would then look at long-haul freighters.

On the reasoning behind the investments in cargo aircraft, 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 period that aspires to more, particularly in the Middle East and India," he said.

David Kaminski-Morrow, FlightGlobal et Damian Brett

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