Kenya Civil Aviation disallows ET cargo flights between Nairobi and Johannesburg


(Posted 18th August 2013)

Information from Nairobi has confirmed that Ethiopian Airlines’ application to operate cargo flights between Nairobi and Johannesburg, has been turned down by the Kenyan authorities, although another route, from Nairobi via Addis Ababa to Liege in Belgium, has been granted to the Ethiopian flag carrier.

Kenya Airways has in the recent past introduced two converted B737-300 freighters and has for over a year now operated a joint cargo flight with Holland’s Martinair using a B747-400F, which regularly flies from Nairobi to Europe, then on to Asian destinations before returning to Nairobi.

While there is no confirmation that KQ had filed a formal objection to the application by ET, it would nevertheless make sense in order to protect the cargo being uplifted on passenger flights between Nairobi and Johannesburg and vice versa.

In this case though KCAA took no chances of having the market of their own national airline put in danger especially in view of Kenya Airways having to play catch up with other airlines’ cargo operations, only rather late entering the market with dedicated freighter aircraft.

According to Plan Mawingo, the Kenya Airways strategic 10 year plan, it is foreseen that by 2022 KQ will operate some 12 dedicated cargo aircraft, in addition to the projected 107 passenger planes. In the short term though has the conversion of additional passenger B737-300 been halted for the time being, waiting to see the air cargo market stabilize and resume growth. Watch this space for regular and breaking aviation news from Eastern Africa.

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