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Relief for Kenyan food exporters as more airlines resume flights

Foreign-based airlines have resumed flying to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) as European countries start easing Covid-19 lockdowns, pushing up demand for fresh produce and the capacity of freighters.

The latest entrants are British Airways and Singapore Air, which had stopped plying the Nairobi route following restrictions on international travel and low demand for horticultural produce in Europe after cancellation of orders.

Other airlines have also increased their frequencies, with Ethiopian Airlines flying daily from JKIA, KLM three times a week and Kenya Airways (KQ) also making a couple of trips to Europe and China.

"We are happy that the capacity for freight is now building up at JKIA and this will go a long way in ensuring we do not suffer space constraint as well as address the high cargo rates being levied at the moment," said Fresh Produce Consortium chief executive Ojepat Okisegere.

Emirates SkyCargo introduced two weekly flights last month, utilising the belly-hold capacity on its Boeing 777-300 ER passenger aircraft to supplement the cargo capacity offered by its freight aircraft from Nairobi and Eldoret.


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