South Africa is set to welcome a new player in the cargo airline industry. Suid Cargo Airlines, the country’s newest cargo airline, has announced that it will begin non-scheduled flights from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport in the second quarter of 2023.
The airline plans to lease a Boeing 727-200F from Kenya’s Astral Aviation Ltd and also offer charter flights on Astral’s Boeing 747-400F, Boeing 767, and Boeing 757F.
Thomas Honiball, Accountable Manager and CEO of Suid Cargo Airlines, made the announcement at the Air Cargo Africa 2023 event in Johannesburg. According to Honiball, the airline plans to purchase more freighters in 2024, including narrow body freighters such as the Airbus 320F or Boeing 737-800F, as well as Embraer 190 Freighters in 2025.
The CEO of Astral Aviation, Sanjeev Gadhia, expressed his excitement about supporting the newest cargo airline in South Africa, saying, “We are honoured to support South Africa’s newest Cargo Airline, Suid Cargo Airlines, initially with our Boeing 727-200F and to offer our fleet of B747-400F, B767F and B757F on charter basis, which will enable the start-up Cargo airline to scale its operations to cover Southern, West and East Africa including Asia, Middle East and Europe.”
Suid Cargo Airlines also plans to promote exports from South Africa and transit shipments to over 20 African destinations. The airline has a unique Sea-Air Cargo product from the Ports of Durban and Cape Town, designed to reduce transit time to landlocked regions in Africa. Kevin Moodley, Commercial Director of Suid Cargo Airlines, explained that the airline would enter into long-term partnerships with freight forwarders, consolidators, integrators, e-commerce retailers, and shipping lines, in addition to interlining with African and foreign airlines to promote the Johannesburg hub.
Suid Cargo Airlines intends to transition to scheduled services in 2024, which will include operating a domestic network. The entry of the new airline is expected to increase competition in South Africa’s cargo industry, which has seen significant growth in recent years.