Kenya Airways expands Its fleet and cargo capacity with additional freighter

November 27 2023 Print This Article

Kenya’s National Carrier, Kenya Airways (KQ) has announced the addition of a Boeing 737-800 Freighter aircraft to expand its cargo capacity as part of its diversification strategy. 

The introduction of the freighter is in response to the growing demand and need for increased cargo capacity within the region. The announcement was made by Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and CEO, Allan Kilavuka at the Global Logistics Conference taking place this week at The Safari Park Hotel.  

“As Africa continues to unravel the trade opportunities available within the continent, there is consensus that there is a need to invest in sustainable freight systems that will enable us to reach our full potential for socio-economic development. One of these is the need for a well-developed and capable air cargo system to support trade. With the addition of this freighter, KQ will now offer increased cargo capacity to existing routes as well as new cargo destinations and we encourage the market to take advantage of the new provision to maximize on the trade opportunities and potential for the region.” commented Kenya Airways CEO and Group Managing Director, Allan Kilavuka. 

KQ Cargo will deploy the freighter to the following routes: Sharjah and Dubai World Central in the United Arab Emirates, Jeddah, and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Dakar in Senegal, Lagos in Nigeria, Ndjamena in Chad, Mogadishu in Somalia, Mumbai in India, Free Town in Sierra Leone, Monrovia in Liberia among many other destinations. The new aircraft offers 20 tons of cargo capacity with a range of up to 7 hours and joins the current KQ Cargo freighter fleet of two (2) Boeing 737-300 Freighters.  

According to the IATA Air Cargo Analysis report, August 2023, Global air cargo capacity registered 49.3 billion Available Cargo Tonne-Kilometers (ACTKs) in August where Industry ACTKs were 12.2% higher than the levels in August 2022 and 3.9% higher than 2019 levels. In 2022 Kenya Airways uplifted 68,900 tons of cargo mainly fresh produce, textiles, electronics, spare parts, pharmaceutical products, and live animals. 

Kenya Airways will add a second Boeing 737-800 Freighter in 2024 which will enter service in February 2024. The freighters will also capture opportunities emerging from The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to catalyze trade within the continent and out of the continent.