South African cargo airline Suid poised for launch

Copyright: Jaromir Chalabala/ Shutterstock

New South African cargo airline Suid Cargo Airlines will begin non scheduled flights from its hub at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport in the second quarter of 2023.

The carrier, 25% owned by Kenya-based cargo airline Astral Aviation, will utilise a leased Boeing B727-200F from Astral, in addition to Astral’s B747-400F, B767 and B757F on a charter basis.

The airline expects to transition to scheduled services in 2024, which will include operating a domestic network.

Announcing the new airline at Air Cargo Africa in Johannesburg, Thomas Honiball, accountable manager and chief executive of Suid Cargo Airlines stated that it plans to acquire additional freighters in 2024.

These will comprise of narrowbody freighters such as the Airbus A320F or B737-800F in addition to Embraer E190F passenger to freighter (P2F) conversions in 2025.

Astral Aviation chief executive Sanjeev Gadhia said: “We are honoured to support South Africa’s newest Cargo Airline, Suid Cargo Airlines, initially with our Boeing 727-200F and to offer our fleet of B747-400F, B767F and B757F on charter basis, which will enable the start up Cargo airline to scale its operations to cover Southern, West and East Africa including Asia, Middle East and Europe.”

Kevin Moodley, commercial director of Suid Cargo Airlines, said that the new airline has plans to promote exports from South Africa in addition to transit shipments to over 20 African destinations, and will have what is anticipated to be a  unique sea-air cargo product from the Ports of Durban and Cape Town – designed to reduce transit time to landlocked regions in Africa.

Suid Cargo Airlines plans to enter into long term partnerships with freight forwarders, consolidators, integrators, e-commerce retailers and shipping lines, in addition to interlining with African and foreign airlines to promote the Johannesburg hub.

Kenya Airways Cargo looks to expand freighter fleet

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]