Astral Aviation ferries 36MT of perishables on its maiden flight to Sharjah, UAE

KENYAAstral Aviation made its maiden cargo flight to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with 36 tonnes of perishables from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi.

The airline had announced in January 2021 that its new B767F from ATSG will be deployed on that route.

Marking the launch of the B767F in Nairobi on January 22, 2021, Astral Aviation’s chief executive officer (CEO), Sanjeev Gadhia reiterated that the newly-acquired freighter will complement the existing fleet by providing new opportunities in the 40-tonnes category which was previously underserved in Africa.

The B767F is ideal for Astral’s intra-African network, which comprises 15 scheduled destinations while offering new opportunities to the Middle East, which is an important gateway for East Africa’s air imports and exports.

“The weekly-twice service will enhance the Kenyan exports by carrying flowers, vegetables, and meat to the UAE”

Astral will also upgrade the B767-200F on its Nairobi – Johannesburg route which it currently operates on the B727-200F thus increasing the total capacity to 160 tonnes per week to South Africa.

The cargo freighter will also offer capacity on high-priority for the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine to and within Africa in partnership with UNICEF in addition to humanitarian cargo.

In December 2020, Astral Aviation selected Sharjah International Airport as its Middle Eastern hub, in addition to its existing European hub at Liege International Airport in Belgium and its African hub at JKIA in Nairobi, Kenya.

Sharjah International Airport was chosen due to its strategic location as well as the services it provides in accordance with the highest international standards that include facilities to handle temperature-controlled perishable, pharma, and healthcare cargo according to Mr Satvir Kalsi, who was recently appointed as commercial director for UAE, Sharjah International Airport.

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