Kenyan airline, Kenya Airways, has launched its expanded Southern Africa operations that will enable direct cargo flights from Johannesburg to other countries in the region.

Currently, all airline connections are done through its hub in Nairobi, Kenya. Going forward, all cargo from Southern Africa will be delivered directly, resulting in shorter connecting times and speed to market, one of the airline’s unique selling propositions to its customers.

The tremendous impact on the global aviation sector following the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasting a net loss of Ksh. 1.18 billion (USD 11.8 million) in 2020, in what has been declared the worst year in aviation history. With the Air Cargo sector accounting for approximately 35% of global trade by value, the pandemic has triggered and shown the resilience of the cargo community that has quickly adapted to the rapidly evolving situation.

“Even as the movement of people across the globe became increasingly restricted, one thing remained unchanged, the need to keep the much-needed supplies and other goods moving in order to sustain economies and to help fight the pandemic. This has reaffirmed the importance of our cargo operations and the significance of air travel in spurring trade and supporting economic growth even during tough times. South Africa is the largest intra-Africa exporting nation which was part of the fundamental opportunity principles driving the project” said Allan Kilavuka – Group Managing Director & CEO, Kenya Airways.

Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi are among the countries set to benefit from the recent expansion to promote swift connectivity in the southern region. The airline will continue to provide one weekly schedule to Lusaka, Maputo, Lilongwe, and Harare which will step up frequencies as demand picks up.

“It is key to reconsider how Africa’s airfreight market is positioned in order to maximise its full potential. Governments should leave behind protectionist approaches to regulating aviation and embrace liberalisation, because when such policies are adopted, countries benefit from improved connectivity with a positive impact on trade. We strongly believe in Africa’s aviation potential, and we are ready to offer a solid and long-term partnership” said Dick Murianki – General Manager, KQ Cargo.

A well interconnected Africa will catalyze trade and Kenya Airways will play its part diligently in connecting the world to Africa and Africa to the world.