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Kenya: Astral Aviation, a leader in cargo, started ‘without a business plan’

By Nelly Fualdes

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Posted on September 5, 2022 06:00

 © The new 727 for Astral Aviation (twitter)
The new 727 for Astral Aviation (twitter)

Astral Airlines, launched twenty-two years ago, has managed to impose itself in the small world of 100% cargo airlines in Africa. But the war in Ukraine has created unwelcome turbulence…

“In September, China will wake up. We will then have a window of opportunity until January, before the Chinese New Year festivities, which will slow down the economy again for a month or two,” said Sanjeev Gadhia on 30 June at the AviaDev Africa conference in Cape Town.

Like many players in international trade, the founder of Kenyan cargo aviation specialist Astral Aviation is impatient with the shutdown of the Asian giant and the slowing of its production apparatus, which is also hindering Astral’s activity in the direction of Hong Kong, Shanghai or Beijing.

However, this did not stop the 100% cargo company from transporting more than 70,000 tonnes of freight in 2021 and more than 30,000 in the first half of 2022. This puts it just ahead of its compatriot Kenya Airways, which is expected to carry almost 64,000 tonnes in 2021.

Not bad for a company launched in 1999 without a business

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