Kenya Airways seeking exclusive cargo deal with gov’t
Published on: February 05, 2021 09:56 (EAT)
Kenya Airways is in talks with the government to become the country’s principal cargo carrier to fill the hole left by reduced passenger numbers. The airline is repurposing two of its dreamliners to carry cargo at a cost of Ksh.60 million with CEO Allan Kilavuka saying this will increase the airline’s cargo capacity by 10%. Kilavuka further said they are capitalising on the increased E-commerce market in the country. Even after resumption of passenger flights last year, passenger numbers have continued to be low prompting national carrier Kenya Airways to rethink its strategy. “I also see this as supporting the economy. There are lots of exports that may happen because either there is no capacity or the capacity is probably not affordable. So we can create a market and not just take a market,” said Kivaluka. The global aviation industry has been reeling from the impact of Coronavirus pandemic. As a result Kenya Airways like its peers have been taking a beating and now repurposing to meet the new demands of the market. KQ has so far converted two of its passenger carriers into cargo freighters at a cost of Ksh.30 million each with a view of increasing its cargo capacity by 10%. However, according to Kilavuka, the repurposed aircrafts will be converted back to passenger planes once numbers improve. KQ is looking to stabilise its for next two years before it starts making any gains both on the passenger and cargo front. The airline also says it is assessing passenger demand on its routes, servicing the viable ones and suspending the ones that do not have demand temporarily as the pandemic renders air travel uncertain. This saw the airline temporarily suspend flights to France and the Netherlands as well as reduce its flight frequency to New York to once a week.