Kenya Airways announced the launch of a twice-a-week freighter service from Mumbai to Nairobi, with its newly inducted Boeing 737-800 freighter.

The African airline operated its first flight from Mumbai International Airport on Thursday, February 15, 2024. The freighter will be operated out of Mumbai every Monday and Thursday.

With the routing Nairobi-Sharjah-Mumbai-Nairobi, KQ also has plans to operate the freighter directly to Mumbai and back, informed Daniel Salaton, senior manager of e-commerce and express cargo, Kenya Airways Cargo.

Talking about the reason behind plans to operate the Nairobi to Mumbai flights, he said, “We are not just a Kenyan airline but an African airline and plans to cater to the demand for African perishables and other valuable products in India with a direct connection to India.”

He also informed that the first KQ freighter operated out of Mumbai was full and carried 20 tonnes of cargo.

Meanwhile, Manoj Singh, Chief Cargo Officer, Adani Airports, said, “Kenya Airways freighter flying to Mumbai adds more capacity and adds more choice to the customers in Mumbai. The revenue balance can be achieved only if there is cargo moving in both directions. Looking forward to more frequency and flights from Kenya Airways.”

Kenya Airways inducted the new aircraft in November 2023 and is planning to add the second B737-800 freighter in February 2024. This will take KQ's freighter fleet to 4 aircraft as it already operates two Boeing 737-300 freighters, primarily for the Africa region.

With a range of up to 7 hours, the new aircraft will offer 20 tonnes of cargo capacity to and from its Nairobi hub. Kenya Airways already operates twice-daily passenger service to Mumbai with its Boeing 737-800 aircraft which has a belly capacity of three tonnes.

Nishant Seth, Director, Rainbow Aviation, which is the GSA for Kenya Airways in India, said, “We are not in the business of cargo but in the business of solutions. The freighter is nothing new but just an addition to what we do for the Kenyan and Indian customers.”

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