BA’s Kenya freighter foray

BRITISH AIRWAYS (BA) looks as though it will beat Kenya Airways to operate the first freighter in the Kenyan market.

BA will start a 747-8F service in November from Nairobi (Kenya) to London (UK) and Spain. The freighter will operate once a week and will see the airline’s cargo capacity for the Kenyan market increase by 50 tonnes, representing 30 per cent of present capacity.

BA currently lifts around 250 tonnes of belly-cargo from Nairobi weekly. The new service will be co-shared with Johannesburg (South Africa) and the Kenyan capital.

“There is demand from our customers to increase capacity,” BA’s area commercial manager for East Africa Michael Murithi said. “We are giving our customers an opportunity to access other markets without going through other hubs.”

National carrier Kenya Airways will receive two 747s at the beginning of November. Titus Naikuni, Kenya Airways’ chief executive officer, said the first aircraft will be flying to Guangzhou (China) and India, due to the booming exports and imports from Asia, while the second will serve the African market.

A surge in telecoms equipment and horticulture exports means Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is now the largest cargo-handling airport in Africa. Horticulture dominates outbound cargo, which totalled over 300,000 metric tonnes last year, putting JKIA ahead of Cairo (Egypt), Johannesburg and Lagos (Nigeria).

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