Kenya Airways on Thursday received its first fully owned cargo aircraft to tap into the growing cargo freighting business in Africa.
The new freighter jet, a Boeing 737-300, has a cargo capacity of 20 metric tons. It is the first of four passenger aircraft owned by the airline which were identified for conversion into freighters in October 2012 to strengthen its cargo business.
The converted freighter will serve Eastern, Central and Southern Africa with planned destinations including Juba, Luanda, Bangui, Douala, Yaounde, Kigali, Entebbe, Dar-es Salaam, Kinshasa and Bujumbura, among others. The introduction of the new freighter jet is the to boost the airline’s cargo business as it seeks to contain the surge in demand for cargo services in some of the regional routes where it operates the much smaller Embraer jets that have limited cargo capacity.
“We are excited to to take delivery of this newly converted freighter jet, which will be a perfect addition to our fleet. This aircraft will go a long way in enabling us to grow our cargo business segment across regional routes as well as increase revenue from cargo services which will be a significant contribution to our bottom-line”, said Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and CEO, Dr. Titus Naikuni.
Under its 10-year growth strategy, Kenya Airways plans to have 12 freighters in its fleet by 2022.
The converted freighter is also expected to further present value addition through channeling of cargo flows from China to various African destinations, a perfect business solution for the in-feed, de-feed capacity mismatch that currently exists.