ANA Aviation and Astral launch African venture

ANA Aviation and Astral launch African ventureThe companies will be using a Boeing 747-400 Freighter aircraft wet-leased from Atlas Air. (Image source: Aero Icarus/Flickr)UK-based ANA Aviation Services and Kenya’s Astral Aviation have announced a new strategic partnership in Africa with the launch of an all-cargo service using a Boeing 747-400 Freighter aircraft wet-leased from Atlas Air

The service, which began at the end of September 2013, is initially operating twice-weekly on a triangular route from Ostend (Belgium), travelling southbound to Lagos and Port Harcourt (Nigeria) and then on to Malabo (Equatorial Guinea). The service then ferries to Nairobi (Kenya) to uplift perishables bound for Ostend and Manston (UK).

A joint statement from the companies said, “The B747 venture enables Astral to market perishable exports from Kenya to Europe which are growing rapidly and dominated entirely by foreign carriers.”

The service will in addition provide inbound capacity for Astral’s shipments in Europe and the USA for onward connectivity to its expanding intra-African network comprising of Juba (South Sudan), Pemba (Mozambique), Mogadishu (Somalia), Dar-es-salaam, Mwanza and Mtwara (Tanzania), Entebbe (Uganda) and Kigali (Rwanda).

Andy Leslie, chairman of ANA Aviation, said, “The Boeing 747 Factory Built Freighter with nose loading capability means we can offer payloads of up to 120,000kg as well as accepting long and oversize pieces giving a new dimension to our business to and from Africa as well as the availability of ad-hoc charter capacity on a worldwide basis.”

As well as perishables traffic from East Africa to Europe, the companies said the service will focus on the increasing demand for oil and gas equipment in West Africa.

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