New SA cargo airline Suid Cargo promises Q2 start with all-Boeing freighters

Boeing 727-200 Aircraft on the tarmac
Carlos Yudica / Shutterstock

New South Africa-based carrier Suid Cargo Airlines is set to launch its operations in Q2 2023 with an all-Boeing freighter fleet, leased from Astral Aviation.  

During the Air Cargo Africa 2023 event in Johannesburg on February 22, 2023, the airline announced that it will operate non-scheduled operations from its hub O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB), starting off with a single Boeing 727-200F leased from Astral Aviation, according to a statement. Suid Cargo will also have access to Astral’s Boeing 747-400, 757 and 767 freighter fleet on a charter basis. 

Speaking at the Air Cargo Africa 2023 event, Thomas Honiball, Suid Cargo’s Accountable Manager and CEO, revealed that the airline plans to increase its fleet in 2024 by acquiring additional freighters which will comprise narrow body freighters such as Airbus A320Fs or Boeing 737-800Fs. 

According to the statement, Suid Cargo will look to acquire Embraer 190 freighters in 2025. 

Sanjeev Gadhia, Astral Aviation’s CEO, said: “We are honored to support South Africa’s newest Cargo Airline, Suid Cargo Airlines, initially with our Boeing 727-200F and to offer our fleet of B747-400F, B767F and B757F on charter basis, which will enable the startup Cargo airline to scale its operations to cover Southern, West and East Africa including Asia, Middle East and Europe.”  

Astral Aviation is a Nairobi-based cargo airline whose fleet comprises aircraft types such as the Boeing 747-400F, 757-200F 767-200F and 727-200F, as well as the Fokker 50F and McDonnell Douglas DC-9 Freighter. 

Suid Cargo operating model 

According to Kevin Moodley, Commercial Director of Suid Cargo Airlines, Suid Cargo will promote exports from South Africa in addition to carrying shipments to over 20 African destinations.  

The airline will also have a unique Sea-Air Cargo service from the Ports of Durban and Cape Town, thus reducing transit time to the landlocked regions in Africa, Moodley explained. 

“Suid Cargo will enter into long term partnership with freight forwarders, consolidators, integrators, e-commerce retailers and shipping lines in addition to interlining with African and Foreign Airlines to promote the Johannesburg Hub with plans to transition to scheduled services in 2024 which will include operating a domestic network,” the airline said in the statement. 

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