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Airline banks on cargo as new containment rules disrupt sector

By Fredrick Obura | April 6th 2021

NAIROBI, KENYA:Bluebird Aviation, a local airline is banking on cargo to sustain operations as covid-19 restrictions affect the passenger side of the business.

Airlines were among casualties in recent containment measures unleashed by President Uhuru Kenyatta. Suspension of non-essential movements by air, Rail and Road in Nakuru, Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu and Machakos disrupted business in the sector.

On Wednesday, Bluebird Aviation said its cargo flights still in operation and will run normally.

“Following a notice issued by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority-KCAA on March 9 2021 and in compliance with the Presidential Executive Order Number 2 Dated March 26 2021, we wish to clarify that our cargo flights remain operational and will run normally.”

The airline is also targeting the dispatch of Vaccines to various parts of the East African region and beyond.

Half of the air cargo normally travels in the belly of passenger jets rather than dedicated freighters. But the grounding of two-thirds of the world's fleet has led to a scramble for cargo capacity for medical supplies and other goods.

Airlines saddled with the cost of unused planes are looking to modify cabin interiors to adjust to the new reality. And that is providing a surprise windfall for aircraft maintenance companies deprived of their normal trade of keeping passenger jets flying.

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