Kenya Airways Cargo and Astral Aviation, two of Africa's leading cargo operators, have inked a codeshare agreement, a first in Africa, that will boost trade between Africa and the Middle East.

KQ will use its codeshare flight numbers on Astral Aviation flights from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to Nairobi for onward distribution across Africa. The deal is planned to increase commerce and commodity flow from the Middle East into Africa by utilizing the strengths of the two cargo operators at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport's cargo hub.

Dick Murianki, Cargo Director, Kenya Airways said, "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."

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 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.

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