February 14, 2018: Valentine’s Day, in other words, means getting the maximum business to the kitty. In the run-up to the Valentine’s Day airlines and air freight operators has increased their capacity to cater to the sudden spike in demand. Luxembourg-based Cargolux pilots are on a special mission to deliver a very particular freight to its destination. Millions of flowers including the traditional seasonal roses are being flown to Europe from Africa and Latin America.

In addition to its 20 weekly flights out of Nairobi, Quito and Bogota, Cargolux has added close to 1,200 tonnes of extra capacity to meet the peak demand ahead of the celebration.

As per the press release from the company, in order to preserve the flowers’ condition, they must be delivered to distribution centres in Europe within 48 hours of their harvest. Cargolux strives to offer the highest standard required to transport fresh products and therefore uses thermos blankets that ensure additional protection for temperature sensitive shipments. The company’s fleet of Boeing 747F aircraft is equipped for the transport of perishable goods such as flowers.

“We are operating a modern fleet which has the state-of-art thermal capabilities, in order to guarantee the reliable transport of flowers to lovebirds around the world. With our ‘CV fresh’ product, we offer to our clients a specialised product, which is focusing on the transport of perishable goods,” says Stavros Evangelakakis, Cargolux product manager for fresh and temperature controlled commodities.

Columbia, Ecuador and Kenya are the most substantial providers of flowers with Kenya catering for around 7 percent of the world trade. The European markets comprise 35 percent of Kenya’s flower harvest as consumers traditionally offer flowers to symbolise love and affection during special occasions such as Valentine’s Day. On top of the European and North American business, emerging economies in Asia are quickly becoming blossoming markets for flowers.

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