Air Bonanza Express relocates IL-76 to cater for UN demand in West Africa

Boniface Kimani. Source: Air Bonanza Express.

African charter service provider Air Bonanza Express has relocated its IL-76 aircraft to Accra as it looks to cater for demand from the UN.

The charter firm took delivery of the leased IL-76 earlier this year and initially based the aircraft in Kenya and South Sudan as it looked to cater for demand in east Africa.

However, chief executive Boniface Kimani told Air Cargo News that the aircraft will be based in Ghana to serve west and central Africa as a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali comes to an end.

He explained: “We understand the oversized market and needs of the continent very well. We therefore have made a decision to relocate our IL-76 freighter to West Africa and base in Accra -Ghana to tap into the current demand for exit of MINUSMA and their equipment from Mali.

“So far, we have been contracted by one government and we expect several others.”

MINUSMA is the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali and was formed in 2013 to support the transitional authorities of Mali in the stabilisation of the country.

The UN withdrawal is due to run until December 31.

Kimani said that positioning the aircraft in West Africa will help reduce the cost of using the aircraft.

“Though IL-76 is quite expensive to operate, it has many applications and the versatility that comes with it,” he said.

“With the IL-76 we are able to do airdrops, carry abnormally huge loads, disaster and emergency interventions and so much more.

Kimani said that the company is hoping to add another freighter in the future to better serve the whole of Africa.

“The future in the oversized market in Africa looks bright since most countries are still struggling with inadequate infrastructure,” he said.

“This is coupled with natural disasters that strike from time to time and the vulnerability of political instability that causes crises that require humanitarian interventions.”

Air Bonanza Express targets African oversize market with IL-76

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]