Yesterday, Kenya Airways became the first airline to convert a Boeing 787 passenger plane into a cargo aircraft globally, shortly after its rival the Ethiopian Airline was given the go-ahead to deploy more planes to fly Kenyan flowers to Europe as Valentine nears.
The 16 tonnage carrier will start carrying cargo and help the airline meet more flower orders. The government owns 49% of Kenya Airways, allowed the carrier’s competitor to deploy additional freighters on the Nairobi-Amsterdam route to ease capacity constraints.
Kenya Airways did a similar practice in 2020 after using the Boeing 787 aircraft to carry cargo even though the seats remained intact, limiting the space. Notably, Kenya is Europe’s biggest supplier of cut flowers, one of its biggest foreign-exchange earners.
Previously, the airline has been struggling amid stiff competition from Ethiopian Airline and Middle Eastern carriers. Also, Covid19 breakout saw the aviation industry counting losses as operations shut globally, increasing the company’s struggles.
The government has currently asked the lawmakers to hasten plans to fully nationalize the Kenya Airways company, which is set for debate this week. The repurposing comes when demand for hauling vaccines to different places of the world is increasing sharply.
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