Emirates adds 10 weekly cargo flights to Nairobi as demand for horticulture export increases

An Emirates plane. [Photo courtesy]

Emirates Skycargo will have an additional 10 weekly flights to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

This follows increased demand for Kenya’s horticultural products in the Middle East, Asia and European markets.

Emirates Boeing 777 – 300ERs will be making the trips to and from Kenya while supplying the products to different markets abroad.

Emirates cargo manager East Africa Saeed Abdulla maintained that the decision to increase cargo flights to Nairobi was to ensure that there is enough food supplies in the Middles East and other markets abroad.

“By doing this, we are able to help countries and supermarkets maintain their food supplies and at the same time help farmers reliant on food exports continue to make their livelihoods in these challenging times,” Emirates cargo manager East Africa Saeed Abdulla said in a statement according to Business Daily.

The increased flights come amid turbulent economic times resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though travel has been hugely affected, airlines are capitalizing on cargo transport to make even as revenues generated from passenger travel continues to shrink.

Between January and May 2020, Kenya earned Ksh72 billion from horticulture exports, Data from the Directorate of Horticulture indicates.

Under the same period last year, the demand for horticulture products was slightly low earning Kenya Ksh65 billion which was an 11% increase.

Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina said that “Our export sector did Kenya proud” in reference to exports made during the COVID-19 pandemic which the world was at a standstill.

Kenya’s national carrier, Kenya Airways (KQ) converted its passenger planes into cargo planes during the pandemic to export Kenyan horticultural products to Europe.