Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Aviation, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Astral Aviation Ltd in order to expand partnership between the two and to enhance the cooperation between Nairobi and Abu Dhabi which would further grow Etihad Cargo’s reach into the African market.

Etihad Cargo and Astral Aviation are expanding their partnership, which will result in increased cargo capacity for Etihad Cargo’s customers. The additional services from Nairobi to Etihad Cargo’s hub in Abu Dhabi will begin on April 1, 2023. The expansion will further enhance Etihad Cargo’s presence in the African market. In 2021, Etihad Cargo signed an SLA with Astral Aviation to provide air freight solutions for transporting pharmaceuticals across Africa in compliance with IATA Pharma and GDP regulations. This latest agreement will see Astral Aviation operating more flights to Abu Dhabi with the support of Etihad Cargo.

“The signing of this MoU demonstrates Etihad Cargo and Astral Aviation’s shared commitment to joint network development and providing a more comprehensive solution to international cargo transportation between Nairobi and Abu Dhabi,” said Martin Drew, Senior Vice President – Global Sales & Cargo at Etihad Airways. “The partnership will enable Etihad Cargo to expand its African network and offer increased cargo capacity both into and out of Nairobi, strengthening the connection between the two cities via this key route and further developing this critical African gateway.”

“We are truly honored to enter into a MoU with Etihad Cargo as a part of our strategy to expand our network globally, which will enhance accessibility and connectivity via Etihad’s Abu Dhabi Hub,” said Sanjeev Gadhia, CEO of Astral Aviation. “We look forward to transporting Perishables from Kenya into Abu Dhabi and beyond on Etihad’s network, and on the return with cargoes from Asia, USA and Europe to connect into Astral’s Intra African network in Nairobi. This cooperation will create new opportunities for our respective clients and will be a win-win partnership.”

Under the agreement, Astral Aviation and Etihad Cargo will share up to half of the total capacity on the newly established Nairobi-Abu Dhabi-Nairobi flights, boosting Etihad Cargo’s offerings for air cargo and air mail clients. By utilizing Etihad Cargo’s hub in Abu Dhabi, their global network will provide connectivity to numerous worldwide destinations. Etihad Cargo will also use its extensive road feeder service to move cargo from Nairobi to locations throughout the UAE and other offline stations upon arrival in Abu Dhabi.