Kenya Airways (KQ) has launched direct cargo flights between Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, as part of its strategy to broaden its cargo operations.
The airline inaugurated a weekly flight commencing on Friday, February 9, with intentions to escalate to twice-weekly flights by April.
The new flight route will be operated in collaboration with Dubai-based sales agent Global GSA Cargo LLC.
“We are thrilled to extend our top-tier logistics service to underserved markets with a robust product, emphasizing the importance of a direct service enhanced by Dubai’s commercial, transit, humanitarian, and project-oriented traffic,” remarked KQ’s cargo director, Dick Murianki.
Highlighting the significant demand for air freight transportation, particularly for high-tech consumer goods, automotive parts, project cargo, and clothing, Murianki emphasized the potential of the direct route between the UAE and Somalia.
Kenya Airways bolstered its cargo fleet last November with the addition of a B737-800F aircraft. KQ is also planning to lease a second similar plane as it further expands its cargo operations.
These huge aircraft have an advantage as they offer expanded cargo capacity and operate long-haul flights compared to KQ’s two B737-300F aircraft currently in service.
The 737-800F aircraft, manufactured by Boeing, boasts a cargo payload capacity of up to 23 tonnes.
In response to the surge in demand for freight services amidst a sharp decline in passenger services during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Kenya Airways converted two of its B787 aircraft into cargo carriers.
Kenya Airways has also announced the resumption of direct passenger flights between Nairobi and Mogadishu starting February 15, 2024.