Kenya Airways to participate in Air Cargo Africa 2013 forum
Kenya Airways will, later this month, join players in the global aviation industry in Johannesburg, South Africa to exchange ideas on the rapidly growing cargo business. Kenya Airways’ Chief Operating Officer, Mbuvi Ngunze will be sharing the airline’s experience in connecting Africa to the global air cargo industry during the Air Cargo Africa 2013 forum that is organized by the STAT Trade Times, a monthly India-based aviation and air cargo publication.
Among the issues that have been lined up for discussion during the three-day forum that is planned for 20 – 22 February 2013, are: how to gain profitability from the cargo business, understanding Europe’s supply chain, and overcoming infrastructure and security challenges in Africa. “There has been a surge in demand for cargo transportation across Africa, and Kenya Airways has provided a vital link to the rest of the world,” said Mr Ngunze. In its annual results for the year ended March 2012, the airline reported 62,504 tonnes of uplifted cargo, a 10.8% growth compared to the previous year.
In a bid to meet this demand, Kenya Airways is in the process of converting four of its Boeing B737-300 passenger jets into freighters. Already, the first one went out of service at the end of November 2012 and is currently in China undergoing conversion by Aeronautical Engineers Inc. It is expected back into service as a freighter in April this year. The second one will go out of service in late February and is expected back into service as a freighter in July 2013.
The converted freighters will operate in Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa. The planned destinations include: Juba, Luanda, Bangui, Douala, Yaoundé, Kigali, Entebbe, Dar-es-Salaam, Kinshasa and Bujumbura amongst others. The regional freighter will allow KQ Cargo to capitalize on full cargo potential on routes that are currently served by the single aisle passenger jets such as the Embraer and Boeing 737 family. The freighter capacity will also accommodate excess baggage overspill complementing trader traffic especially in Central and West Africa.