The Kenyan aviation regulator has granted Ethiopian Airlines and Qatar Airways the go ahead to fly cargo directly from Nairobi without making stop-overs at their home bases which will be a major relief to flower farmers ahead of Valentine’s Day period.
Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) director-general Gilbert Kibe confirmed that they have approved 20 flights for the Ethiopian carrier and five for Qatar Airways.
This comes barely a week after the Ministry of Transport asked freighters of any objections regarding granting permits to the two airlines. None of the freighters objected hence paving way for the approval of their requests.
The extra direct frequencies, commonly known as ad-hoc flights in aviation, will run from the end of January to mid of this month.
“Ethiopian and Qatar have been granted extra Ad-hoc cargo flights to meet Valentine’s Day demand,” said Mr Kibe.
The addition of cargo flights will mostly benefit the flower farmers who had requested more capacity at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to evacuate more produce during the peak season occasioned by the incoming Valentines and Mothers’ Day celebrations to cater for the increased flowers demand in the country.