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BY UPESI REPORTER ,NAIROBI,26TH NOV,2020-National Flag carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) has started direct cargo flights from Mombasa.
KQ Cargo will initially run one weekly flight from Mombasa ferrying mostly tropical fish to Sharjah international Airport in UAE and will gradually increase frequencies and destinations as demand grows.
“KQ Cargo will work closely with fish and sea food farmers to maximize on the same-day perishables supply chain to cater for the consumers in the Middle East region,” said Allan Kilavuka, CEO of Kenya Airways.
The introduction of this direct cargo flight schedule follows up joint discussions between KQ, the Mombasa County Government and fresh produce stakeholders from the coastal region to enable them to transport cargo faster and more efficiently to customers outside of Kenya.
The average load of fresh seafood per flight is about 18.75 tonnes. Mr Kilavuka assured the fresh produce community that KQ will continue to invest in growing its cargo business to address and meet the demand of its cargo customers.
“Our familiarity in same day cargo logistics and working closely with commercial fishing and small producers provides us the knowledge to treat your seafood with the utmost care as it heads to its destination,” he added.
Mombasa County Governor Ali Hassan Joho commended KQ for the decision to initiate direct cargo flights from Mombasa saying it will not only help spur not only the fishing industry but other local businesses.
“Air cargo continues to be more important than ever, and more so during this pandemic where businesses have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. KQ’s decision to operate cargo flights direct from Mombasa is vital for economic recovery and an indicator of the importance of cargo activities at our airport,” he concluded.
KQ Cargo fleet has operated an estimated 700 cargo-only flights in the past six months.
In total, KQ Cargo has been able to carry +10,000 tonnes of fresh fruits and vegetables, demonstrating the importance of air travel in moving food worldwide.