Freight Astral Aviation leases a first Boeing 747-400F
Kenya’s Astral Aviation has signed a wet-lease agreement for a Boeing 747-400F with Air Atlantic Icelandic. This deal has the intention to strengthen the company’s presence in Africa “and especially the Kenyan perishables market, adding capacity for flowers and vegetables from Nairobi to the UK”. Astral Aviation has leased the aircraft in cooperation with Network Airline Management - a division of the Network Aviation Group.
“The newly acquired B747-400F from Air Atlanta Icelandic will strengthen our position as a market-leader in perishable exports from Kenya to the UK market. Furthermore, the B747F will feed its intra-African network in Nairobi with cargo, which will be consolidated in its Liege hub originating from Europe and the US”, said Sanjeev Gadhia, Chief Executive Officer of Astral Aviation.
The new aircraft has successfully accomplished its inaugural flight from London Stansted to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on November 7, 2017. By now, the group expects a growth of the handled perishable exports from East Africa to Europe per year to 33,000 tons in total. The nose-loader B747F shall also enable the group to attract customers for out-sized oil, gas and mining equipment transports in West and East Africa.
“While most foreign carriers are reducing their capacity to Africa, Astral Aviation remains ‘cautiously optimistic’ of positive growth in perishable exports to Europe and a strong south-bound demand from Europe to West and East Africa, fuelled by the growth in consumer demand for e-commerce and oil and gas equipment due to the improved fuel-prices”, Sanjeev Gadhia further stated, and added: “According to IATA, African carriers had the fastest growth in year-on-year freight volumes".
“We are thrilled to start this new chapter in our wet leasing with our new, highly respected partners, Astral Aviation and NAM, and are pleased that our services and technology will further improve their offerings to the industry”, Baldvin M. Hermannsson, Vice President Sales and Marketing of Air Atlanta Icelandic concluded.
Network Airline Management has a managed fleet of B747F and MD11F aircraft and has over 30 offices across the globe. The group handles more than 70,000 tons of cargo annually. Astral Aviation is a licensed cargo airline based at the Africa Flight Services Cargo Terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. The carrier operates a fleet of Boeing 727-200F, DC9-34F and Fokker 27F aircraft. Air Atlanta Icelandic is an Icelandic ACMI and charter airline founded in 1986 that operates a fleet of 14 Boeing 747 aircraft in passenger and cargo configuration.
Source © astral-aviation.com