Kenya Airways Dreamliners now cargo carriers

A KQ cargo plane headed for London. [File, Standard]

Kenya Airways (KQ) has converted four of its passenger aircraft into cargo carriers as part of its measures to lessen the impact of Covid-19 on its business.

One of the planes, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, flew yesterday from Nairobi to London with 40 tonnes of fresh produce consisting of vegetables and flowers.

The move will be a huge relief for the horticulture sector, which has suffered massive losses due to a lack of access to its key markets after the pandemic shut down global travel.

KQ has been hit hard by the cancellation of international flights, with most of its passenger planes grounded. The airline said it would now strive to meet the growing demand for freight aircraft.

“Kenya Airways this morning dispatched a cargo flight operated by our Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger aircraft from Nairobi to London loaded with 40,000kgs of fresh produce," said the national carrier in a statement.

"This is part of the innovative initiatives we have embarked on by converting four wide-body passenger aircraft to fit our cargo operations in order to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on operations."

KQ said yesterday's flight was in addition to that of another Dreamliner that flew to Johannesburg on Sunday with medical supplies and other essential items.

The airline, whose workers were forced to take pay cuts of up to 75 per cent due to the pandemic, said there was a demand for cargo aircraft across the world, adding that it would continue to play its part by keeping essential supplies moving. 

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