Kenya Airways cargo unit, (KQ Cargo) and Astral Aviation, two leading cargo operators in the African continent, have signed a codeshare agreement, a first in Africa, that will boost trade between Africa and the Middle East.
KQ will put its codeshare flight numbers on Astral Aviation flights originating from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates into Nairobi, for onward distribution within Africa. The agreement is expected to boost trade and commodity movement from the Middle East into Africa by leveraging the strengths of the two cargo operators in the Nairobi cargo hub at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Commenting on the codeshare agreement, Kenya Airways Cargo Director, Mr. Dick Murianki, said that the partnership will provide both airlines’ cargo customers with more options to boost trade between the UAE and Africa, “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.”
Mr. Sanjeev Gadhia, the Chief Executive Officer for Astral Aviation, said, “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.”
Kenya Airways and Astral Aviation have had a commercial and interline cooperation for cargo for the past 20 years, which has benefited both airlines by enabling cargo to move on their respective networks, thus creating the largest cargo network in Africa from the freighter-friendly Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Astral Aviation contracted Kenya Airways repurposed Dreamliners to carry Covid related materials from Guangzhou to Nairobi for onward connection to the rest of Africa.