Kenya Airways has bolstered its cargo network with the introduction of a medium-range freighter to its fleet.

The airline expanded its freighter capabilities by incorporating a B737-800F, providing an extended range that connects essential cargo hubs and creates new possibilities for cargo services.

As part of its network expansion, Kenya’s national carrier now operates direct cargo flights between Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates and Mogadishu in Somalia.

In 2020, KQ initiated cargo flights between its base in JKIA and Sharjah, UAE, returning to Nairobi with general cargo.

The airline now services the route weekly, with the inaugural flight taking place on February 9 and plans to increase frequencies to twice weekly in April.

KQ Cargo Director Dick Murianki highlighted that this new route aligns with KQ’s renewed mission to drive Africa’s prosperity by connecting its people, cultures, and markets.

Additionally, it strengthens KQ Cargo’s position as Africa’s preferred cargo carrier, offering unique network options for customers.

“We are delighted to expand our world-class logistics service to underserved markets with a solid product, and we believe in having a direct service complemented by Dubai’s trader, transit, humanitarian, and project-driven traffic,” said Mr Murianki.

The carrier notes that the direct route between the UAE and Somalia presents significant demand for air freight transportation, especially for high-tech consumer goods, automotive parts, project cargo, and clothing – the most frequently transported goods on this route.

KQ has partnered with Global GSA Cargo LLC as its cargo logistics partner to operate the route.

Kannan Nachiappan, CEO of Global GSA Cargo LLC, said the direct connection between the UAE and Somalia provides customers with increased capacity, reduced transit times, and lower costs.

“UAE, being a multimodal logistics hub, acts as a primary gateway to Africa, and having a dedicated KQ cargo freighter to offer this service helps cut transit times and offer scheduled main deck capacity into several remote destinations across the region,” said Mr Nachiappan.

Previously, the service relied on narrow-body belly-only options, resulting in extended transit times and higher costs.