- The first uplift from New Delhi was of 33 tonnes.
- Last year, the carrier has appointed Rainbow Aviation as its cargo GSA for India.
February 22, 2021: Kenya Airways Cargo has resumed direct freighter service between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi and New Delhi, India. The service will be operated weekly once using its recently repurposed B787F. The first uplift of 33 tonnes from New Delhi included pharma, medical equipment, machinery and spare parts, time critical shipments, general merchandise, etc, revealed KQ Cargo's spokesperson to Logistics Update Africa.
In October 2020, the carrier appointed Rainbow Aviation as its cargo general sales agent (GSA) for India.
Speaking on increasing the frequency in future, the spokesperson told Logistics Update Africa, "Indo-Africa has always been a strong business trade lane for Kenya. KQ is definitely inclined to increase the frequency in this market and provide solutions to customers seeking services for Africa."
The aircraft is equipped to strongly cater to the Covid-19 vaccine, and the carrier will cater to the vaccine demands of Kenya and other regions in Africa.
The weekly service will also serve to support Kenya's and intra-African export market and provide a welcome lifeline to many local businesses reliant on overseas markets. Dick Murianki Kenya Airways Cargo director, said, "KQ Cargo has rapidly scaled up its cargo services in an effort to address the growing need for air cargo across the continent and will be connecting the ever-increasing number of international markets to help maintain and replenish essential supplies."
Starting this month, Kenya Airways launched the first time ever cabin cargo by repurposing its B787 Dreamliner into a preighter. The project is the collaboration between Kenya Airways and Avianor.
The repurposed cabin has been certified to carry up to 16 tonnes of cargo, potentially enabling the aircraft to reach its maximum payload while in cargo operation of 46 tonnes. The repurposing began in December 2020 and was completed in January 2021.
During the launch of B787F on February 9, Allan Kilavuka, CEO and MD of Kenya Airways, said, "KQ's purpose is to contribute to the sustainable development of Africa. The preighter will enable us to bridge businesses & enhance connectivity. Kenya will export more goods to our partners across the globe & stimulate business for local suppliers."
"The resumption of direct weekly cargo flights from Nairobi to New Delhi, is an indication of the integral part KQ plays in providing logistics solutions to our customers based on our robust world class handling infrastructure and strong network footprint in Africa. Key items to be uplifted from India include pharmaceutical and medical products, machinery, sports goods and general cargo. KQ Cargo will continue to offer seamless connections in India to Nairobi, and the rest of Africa, including destinations such as Accra, Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria; and Lilongwe, Malawi," said Murianki in the carrier's release.
At present, the carrier operates weekly three B737 pax and twice-weekly B787F from Mumbai to Nairobi.