Monday, March 18, 2013

►► KENYA: First of four Kenya Airways Boeing 737-300s set for Cargo conversion.

Kenya Airways Cargo logo[UPDATE 18 MARCH] Kenya Airways (KQ) has announced plans to convert four of its six Boeing 737-300s into regional cargo freighters in a move that will see the carriers' cargo division, Kenya Airways Cargo, increasing its presence in Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa.

Kenya Airways Boeing 737-300 5Y-KQC
Kenya Airways B737-300 '5Y-KQC' due for Cargo Conversion
The first aircraft (MSN 29088 | 5Y-KQC) has been withdrawn from service and is now set to be modified at Aeronautical Engineers Inc. (AEI)'s authorized conversion centre - Boeing Shanghai Aircraft Services - located in Shanghai, China. The conversion should take 6 months with KQC expected to start cargo ops in February 2013, following which, a second unspecified 733 will be sent for conversion.

Kenya Airways Chief Operating Officer, Mbuvi Ngunze, said that the converted Boeing 737-300 freighters are a cost effective means of boosting efficiency and reliability in the firm’s cargo unit and would add to the carrier's income in the near future, of which 8% of its revenue came from its cargo business for the Financial Year 2011/2012:
We are using our own equipment with minimal additional investment making it cost effective; and since we already know the aircraft, minimal additional training is required to operate the aircraft,” Mr. Ngunze explained.
Source [Kenya Airways]

Planned African destinations for Kenya Airways Cargo include: Juba (South Sudan), Luanda (Angola), Bangui (Central African Republic), Douala, Yaoundé (Cameroon), Kigali (Rwanda), Entebbe (Uganda), Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania), Kinshasa (DRC) and Bujumbura (Burundi) amongst others.

As part of its 10 Year Strategic Plan, Project Mawingu, Kenya Airways plans to introduce twelve freighters into its fleet over the next ten years, some wholly owned and others leased. The Boeing 737-300 regional freighters, in particular, will allow KQ Cargo to improve the airline’s overall cargo carrying capability and reduce over-dependence on its passenger fleet whose belly capacity is limited.

[UPDATE 18 MARCH] News reports out of Nairobi state that 5Y-KQC will be returning to Kenya next week following its successful freighter conversion. The new B737-300F is expected to start active ops with KQ Cargo shortly thereafter.