By Samuel Ouma
Kenyan carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) has become the first global carrier to repurpose the original passenger craft to carry freight.
The repurposed cabin of a Dreamliner was approved by Kenya’s Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).
“We have approved Kenya Airways request of turning the Dreamliner into a freighter and they can use it world-wide for cargo purposes,” the Business Daily quoted Gilbert Kibe, KCAA Director-General.
This move will address the growing demand for increased cargo capacity and the need for essential and medical goods.
It will also support future commercial opportunities by contributing to the stimulation of the local and regional economies.
The airline is further seeking to grow the contribution of cargo to its business from seven to 20 percent over a five-year period.
While speaking at the launch event on Monday, February 8, 2020, Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka said the innovation would generate more airline revenues.
“There is another avenue for us to generate revenues for Kenya Airways to make the airline more sustainable,” he said.
The first fully-fledged cargo flight on the repurposed Boeing-787 Dreamliner plane will leave Nairobi for London on Monday night of February 8.
Fresh produce exporters will be some of the primary beneficiaries of the innovation.