Kenya Airways (KQ) has adopted the strategy of flying passenger aircraft as cargo-only flights like Air Seychelles, Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, among others.
On April 11, the airline carried medical supplies and essential goods from Nairobi to Johannesburg using B787-8 Dreamliner.
The subject on the national airline not operating flights for carrying essentials has been deliberated at the recently concluded webinar by Logistics Update Africa on ‘Delivering cargo in the times of continental contagion: From essential supplies to critical medicines’. The panelists highlighted the reduction in capacity from 5,000 tonnes to 1,300 tonnes since KQ along with other carriers ceased to fly.
During the webinar, Hosea Machuki, CEO, Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK) noted, “We have demand to ship fruits and vegetables out of Nairobi to Europe but the only issue is air freight capacity. Our members are in talks with the government to add more capacity. We are looking at an option in Kenya for passenger aircraft to fly cargo like Ethiopian is doing. We are in talks with Kenya Airways for capacity addition.”
The government of Kenya has issued a directive to cease all incoming and outgoing international passenger traffic from the midnight of March 25, 2020, further announcing the extension of ban on April 6 for another 30 days.