NBO-AUH flight sees take-off

It started with a Memorandum of Understanding detailing partnership expansion between Etihad Cargo and Astral Aviation, and was sealed with the inaugural Nairobi-Abu Dhabi flight on 21MAR24. That flight opened the schedule that sees regular services between Nairobi and Abu Dhabi starting with effect 28MAR24. “As part of the capacity sharing agreement, Etihad Cargo’s partners and customers will benefit from capacity on board Astral Aviation’s weekly flights from Nairobi to Abu Dhabi,” the release states.

Etihad Cargo and Astral Aviation celebrate inaugural NBO-AUH flight. Image: Etihad Cargo

Two cargo experts have come together to support Etihad Cargo’s footprint within Africa, and enhance freight opportunities between the UAE and Africa. “The inaugural flight was strategically timed to accommodate the increased demand for flowers, demonstrating the synergy between Etihad Cargo’s global reach and Astral Aviation’s strong African network. The successful operation underscored the partnership’s potential to enhance cargo capacity and offer efficient logistics solutions, particularly for time-sensitive shipments such as perishable goods,” it goes on to say. Not only do Etihad Cargo’s customers benefit from the weekly codeshare with Astral Aviation, Etihad Cargo will also offers additional belly capacity on board of the airline’s daily passenger flights to Nairobi, starting 01MAY24. Plus, it operates a weekly freighter service ex Nairobi to Amsterdam via its Abu Dhabi hub.

Stanislas Brun, Vice President Cargo of Etihad Cargo, said: “The successful inaugural flight from Nairobi to Abu Dhabi is just the beginning […] Together, Etihad Cargo and Astral Aviation will offer air cargo solutions that cater to the dynamic needs of partners and customers, especially in the fast-growing African market.”

Wilson Chan, Senior Vice President – Freezone Cargo & Logistics of Abu Dhabi Airports, commented: “This inaugural flight, and the commencement of weekly flights to Nairobi, is further evidence of the important commercial and business ties Abu Dhabi Airports, and our partners Etihad Airways and Astral Aviation, are helping to facilitate.”

Sanjeev Gadhia, CEO of Astral Aviation, stated: “The partnership between Etihad Cargo and Astral Aviation marks a significant milestone in trade between Africa and Abu Dhabi, as the new flight will enable the efficient transportation of perishables including flowers, fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat from Astral’s hubs in Nairobi and Johannesburg into Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub and onto their network. On the return, the freighter will carry cargo from Etihad Cargo’s network in Asia, the USA, and Europe into Astral’s Intra African network, which will result in new opportunities for our respective clients.”

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