Etihad Cargo, Astral Aviation sign MoU to boost Africa-UAE logistics

7th February 2023

By: Donna Slater

Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer


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The cargo and logistics division of Etihad Airways, Etihad Cargo, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Astral Aviation to expand the partnership between the two parties and enhance the cooperation between the regions of Abu Dhabi and Nairobi, further growing Etihad Cargo’s reach into the African market.

This latest agreement builds on Astral Aviation’s expanding partnership with Abu Dhabi, which will see Astral Aviation operating more flights to the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE’s) capital, supported by Etihad Cargo.

Through the comprehensive MoU, Etihad Cargo’s customers will benefit from additional cargo capacity out of Nairobi through the introduction of additional services from Nairobi to Etihad Cargo’s hub in Abu Dhabi from April 1.

In 2021, Etihad signed a service level agreement (SLA) with Astral Aviation to provide reliable and cost-effective air freight solutions for the transport of pharmaceuticals across Africa.

The SLA was Etihad Cargo’s first pharmaceutical interline agreement and ensured the carrier’s partners’ full compliance with the latest International Air Transport Association pharmaceutical and gross domestic product regulations and standards.

Etihad Airways global sales and cargo senior VP Martin Drew says the signing of the MoU demonstrates Etihad Cargo and Astral Aviation’s shared commitment to joint network development and providing a more comprehensive solution to international cargo transportation between Nairobi and Abu Dhabi.

“The partnership will enable Etihad Cargo to expand its African network and offer increased cargo capacity both into and out of Nairobi, strengthening the connection between the two cities via this key route and further developing this critical African gateway,” he says.

Astral Aviation CEO Sanjeev Gadhia says the MoU with Etihad Cargo will enhance accessibility and connectivity through Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub.

“We look forward to transporting perishables from Kenya into Abu Dhabi and beyond on Etihad’s network, and on the return with cargoes from Asia, [the] US and Europe to connect into Astral’s intra-African network in Nairobi. This cooperation will create new opportunities for our respective clients and will be a win-win partnership,” he says.

The agreement will see Astral Aviation and Etihad Cargo sharing up to 50% of all available capacity on the new Nairobi-Abu Dhabi-Nairobi flights, increasing the capacity Etihad Cargo offers air cargo and air mail customers.

Through Etihad Cargo’s Abu Dhabi hub, the carrier’s global network will offer connectivity to destinations around the world. Etihad Cargo will use its expansive road feeder service network to transport cargo arriving in Abu Dhabi from Nairobi to destinations throughout the UAE and other offline stations.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online



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