KENYA AIRWAYS ZOOMING IN ON B737 FREIGHTER
Information is gradually emerging from Nairobi on the plans of Kenya Airways to acquire a cargo aircraft by late Q3 or early Q4 of 2011. It is understood that a team of the airline is presently sourcing for a B737 converted freighter, which can take palletised cargo on board and feed / de-feed shipments across the Eastern African region and the continental network.
With an anticipated payload of between 15 to 20 tons the distribution of air freight beyond the Nairobi cargo hub will then be made possible, as KQ can deliver urgent shipments by air to the nearest airport capable of taking a B737 and having the equipment to load / offload pallets, instead of the present cumbersome way of road deliveries, which are costly, risky – considering the state of many of East Africa’s main highways – and time consuming.
Kenya Airways already operates an extensive fleet of B 737 passenger aircraft of the -300, -700 and -800 makes, and should they indeed settle for a narrow body freighter 737 it would also permit them to maintain the freighter in their own maintenance facility at the ‘old airport’ in Embakasi, where the airline headquarters are also located.
Watch this space for upcoming confirmation of aircraft type and delivery date.