April 23, 2020: Flying its first B787 Dreamliner as cargo-only flight to Johannesburg (medical supplies and essential goods) and followed by another flight to London (40 tonnes of fresh produce), Kenya Airways (KQ) is spreading wings to more destinations.

As posted on the LinkedIn page of Patrick Mulei, cargo manager - South Africa at Kenya Airways, KQ will fly to Amsterdam, New York, Geneva, Dubai, Paris, and Guangzhou.

Recently, the B787 was put into action by the government of Kenya to carry critical medical supplies from China.

The national airline not operating flights for carrying essentials has been deliberated during a webinar on April 9 by Logistics Update Africa on 'Delivering cargo in the times of continental contagion: From essential supplies to critical medicines'. The panelists highlighted the reduction in capacity from 5,000 tonnes to 1,300 tonnes since KQ along with other carriers ceased to fly.

During the webinar, Hosea Machuki, CEO, Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK) noted, “We have demand to ship fruits and vegetables out of Nairobi to Europe but the only issue is air freight capacity. Our members are in talks with the government to add more capacity. We are looking at an option in Kenya for passenger aircraft to fly cargo like Ethiopian is doing. We are in talks with Kenya Airways for capacity addition.”

In the discussion during the second webinar on 'How Last-Mile delivery services can keep up with Covid-19 demand for critical medical and food shipments, Jacob Bwana, commercial manager - cargo at Kenya Airports Authority pointed out the reliance on Nairobi for cargo to the landlocked neighbouring countries and European countries. He stated, "We have seen passenger flight conversion into freighter and even Ethiopian Airlines has started its operations into Nairobi. Probably, Kenya Airways may continue to uplift the medical kits and essentials goods."

The government of Kenya has issued a directive to cease all incoming and outgoing international passenger traffic from the midnight of March 25, 2020, further announcing the extension of ban on April 6 for another 30 days.

On April 17, together with partners, KQ delivered a consignment of over 1,000 litres of free government of Kenya’s hand sanitizer to the Women in Business Network in Korogocho market as part of our social responsibility.

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