Kenya Airways Cargo and Astral agree cargo codeshare

Astral Aviation chief executive Sanjeev Gadhia (left) and Kenya Airways cargo director Dick Murianki. Photo: Kenya Airways/ Astral Aviation

The cargo division of Kenya Airways (KQ Cargo) and Astral Aviation, two of the biggest air cargo carriers in Africa, have inked a codeshare agreement.

The codeshare is said to be the first of its kind in Africa, and is expected to support air trade flows between the continent and the Middle East.

KQ will put its codeshare flight numbers on Astral Aviation flights operating from Dubai in the UAE into both carriers’ hub at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi.

Kenya Airways’ cargo director, Dick Murianki, believes that the partnership will provide both airlines’ cargo customers with “more options to boost trade between the UAE and Africa”.

Sanjeev Gadhia, Astral Aviation’s chief executive, agrees. “This codeshare agreement, a first among two major players in the cargo sphere in Africa, will lead to a more efficient schedule and increased capacity for African traders wishing to bring in goods from the Middle East,” he noted.

The codeshare builds on previous co-operation between the two airfreight carriers. In fact, “KQ Cargo and Astral Aviation have had a long-standing commercial cooperation for the past 20 years, and this partnership is a continuation of our efforts to strengthen collaboration and partnerships amongst African airlines and to boost intercontinental trade while driving sustainable development of the African continent,” Murianki said.

Recently, during the pandemic, Astral Aviation contracted Kenya Airways’ Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliners’ repurposed as freighters to carry Covid-related cargo from Guangzhou to Nairobi for onward delivery across Africa.

Kenya Airways flies to 42 destinations across the world, 35 of them in Africa.

Astral Aviation is a dedicated cargo carrier operating a fleet of 15 cargo aircraft to over 50 destinations in Africa. As well as its base at Nairobi, it also has hubs at Johannesburg, Liege, Dubai and Hong Kong.

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