Africa’s ‘Moon Shot’: Preparing for an African air cargo renaissance

Built more than 60 years ago, Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) is hardly a cutting-edge example of a modern, global air cargo hub. While there have been some recent expansions to its cool-chain handling facilities, NBO’s connectivity to the rest of the world is relatively modest. Still, Kenya’s largest airport has ardent fans. “Jomo […]
  • Randy Woods
  • February 4, 2019

Drone systems chosen among top 10 African startups in Airbus accelerator

Three Africa-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) projects – two of which were designed to carry small cargo payloads – have been chosen among the top 10 technology startups in the latest Airbus Bizlab #Africa4Future accelerator program. The two cargo drone startups are Astral Aerial Solutions, a subsidiary of Nairobi-based Astral Aviation, and Ethiopia-based Maisha ICT […]
  • Randy Woods
  • January 18, 2019

TACF18: Cargo drones loom large over Toronto show [VIDEOS]

TORONTO – Amid all the talk of digitalization, blockchain and cargo communities at this year’s Air Cargo Forum, the session that earned the biggest buzz this week was the “Unmanned Freight Aircraft” panel. Rather than the small quad-copter demonstration projects seen over the last few years, the manufacturers showcased here are working on prototypes for […]
  • Randy Woods
  • October 18, 2018

Into & Out of Africa: Links to China are rewriting the rules of African airfreight

Mere hours after being offloaded from an inbound flight originating at Guangzhou’s Baiyun International Airport (CAN), a case of cell phones has already been processed through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport’s (NBO) new express center. They now sit at the edge of an off-airport warehouse, waiting for pickup to continue their journey over land. In the […]
  • Molly Thompson
  • October 3, 2018

Network Airline Management, Astral Aviation ink 747F ACMI deal

Air Atlanta Icelandic signed a long-term ACMI deal to place a 747-400 freighter with Network Airline Management (NAM) and Astral Aviation. The added capacity will help NAM expand its perishables capacity for exports of flowers and vegetables from Nairobi to the United Kingdom. On Nov. 7, the freighter made its inaugural flight from London’s Stansted […]
  • Caryn Livingston
  • November 8, 2017

Astral Aviation to open drone hub at Kapese Airstrip, Kenya [VIDEO]

Astral Aviation has established a subsidiary, Astral Aerial Solutions, to handle the Kenyan cargo airline’s foray into drone delivery. The venture’s first customers oil and gas industry companies that need to move equipment out to remote sites. Astral’s CEO Sanjeev Gadhia told Business Daily Africa that Astral Aerial Solutions would soon operate surveillance drones along […]
  • Lewis King
  • November 21, 2016

Astral halts South Sudan cargo service, charters evac flight

Due to an outbreak of military hostilities this week in the newly formed country of South Sudan, Kenya-based cargo carrier Astral Aviation has temporarily suspended its three-times-per-week cargo flights from Nairobi to Juba, the capital of South Sudan. While a cease-fire has been called on Wednesday and the airport has reopened since being forced to […]
  • Randy Woods
  • July 13, 2016

Ethiopian, Astral look for growth beyond Africa

Africa’s most outward-looking cargo carriers used this week’s Africa Air Cargo Summit in Addis Ababa to outline their expansion plans as they look to take advantage of international interest in the African economy. Both Ethiopian Cargo and Astral Aviation have medium-term plans to add freighters and/or international cargo hubs in Africa. Astral Aviation CEO Sanjeev […]
  • Lewis King
  • June 23, 2016

Astral Aviation plans entry into drone business

Currently known best for the company’s scheduled and charter cargo operations, Kenya-based Astral Aviation is preparing for entry into the drone delivery business as early as next year, according to local sources.  Sanjeev Gadhia, Astral’s CEO, confirmed that his company has set aside US$500,000 to launch humanitarian-related drone services – that is, if Kenya’s Civil […]
  • Charles Kauffman
  • April 28, 2016

Building Bloc: Africa’s new free-trade hope

Last December, amid two days of fanfare, a new long-haul 787 passenger route was launched from Durban, South Africa. The four-times-per-week service was hailed by local provincial officials as a triumph for the region and would begin “opening up new markets for our goods around the world,” as well as delivering tourists and tourist money, […]
  • Randy Woods
  • February 1, 2016

Astral Aviation boosts East African freight schedules

With intra-African load factors increasing on key routes to Juba, Mogadishu and Mwanza, Astral Aviation has added updated its freighter schedule to reflect changes in demand across East Africa. With the closure of the Juba International Airport on weekends, Astral will now operate three weekly frequencies from Nairobi to Juba to accommodate for the increase […]
  • Staff Reports
  • October 21, 2015

Astral suspends flights to Lokichar basin

Weekly scheduled  freighter service from Nairobi to Lokichar in the Turkana province of Kenya, has been suspended. The service, which began in June 2014, using a Fokker F27 freighter aircraft, assisted operations in the oil-rich Lokichar basin, which has fallen sharply due to the low price of oil, according to Business Daily. London-based Tullow Oil […]
  • Staff Reports
  • August 21, 2015

Kenya’s Astral Aviation to increase intra-Africa service

Later this month, the fifth general election will be held in Nigeria since the official end of military rule in 1999. For Kenyan cargo airline Astral Aviation, the scheduled March 28 vote will be good news, not only for democracy in Africa, but also for the expected rise in charter shipments of election materials to […]
  • Randy Woods
  • March 13, 2015

Relief flights, oil keep Astral busy

Astral Aviation reports that a high number of relief cargo flights into South Sudan kept the Nairobi-based cargo carrier busy during the first half of 2014. Astral performed more than 200 flights to and within this region, using a combination of DC9F, B727 and DC8F aircraft, says company CEO Sanjeev Gadhia. In addition, Gadhia says […]
  • Staff Reports
  • June 24, 2014
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