Kenya Airways Cargo, the cargo unit of Kenya Airways (KQ), and Nairobi-based cargo operator Astral Aviation have signed a codeshare agreement to boost trade between Africa and the Middle East.
According a joint statement, the agreement is expected to enhance commodity movement from the Middle East into Africa through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi, Kenya.
KQ will put its codeshare flight numbers on Astral Aviation flights originating from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates into Nairobi for onward distribution within Africa, the statement continued.
“KQ Cargo and Astral Aviation have had a long-standing commercial cooperation for the past 20 years,” said Kenya Airways cargo director, Dick Murianki. “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, described the deal between the two cargo operators as a “first”.
“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,” Gadhia added.
According to the joint statement, Kenya Airways and Astral Aviation have shared commercial and interline cooperation for cargo for the past 20 years.
“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,” the statement added.