Kenya-based cargo airline, Astral Aviation, has announced the launch of a new freighter route connecting Nairobi and Tel Aviv. The scheduled service, operated by a Boeing 757 freighter, is specifically designed to cater to the growing demand for perishable goods transportation.
During the inauguration ceremony held at Astral’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport hub, Chief Executive Sanjeev Gadhia highlighted the significant benefits of the direct flight. The Nairobi-Tel Aviv route will substantially reduce transit time for Kenyan perishables, decreasing it from 24 hours to just five hours. Previously, these perishable goods were routed through other hubs such as Istanbul, Addis Ababa, and Dubai.
Gadhia emphasized that the new service will also facilitate exports from Israel to Africa through Astral’s Nairobi hub, thereby strengthening economic ties between Kenya and Israel. The outbound flights will efficiently transport perishable items, particularly pineapples and vegetables, meeting the increasing demand for high-quality produce in international markets.
The initiative is expected to foster mutually beneficial partnerships, with Astral Aviation already forging collaborations with El Al Cargo and Challenge Airlines. These partnerships will enable the airlines to leverage their global networks to feed African cargoes from various destinations to Astral’s Nairobi hub via Tel Aviv.
Astral Aviation plans to expand the frequency of the Nairobi-Tel Aviv service, transitioning from a weekly to a twice-weekly schedule. Moreover, the airline intends to switch to a more spacious Boeing 767F aircraft to accommodate growing cargo volumes and enhance operational efficiency.
In Tel Aviv, Astral Aviation has partnered with GSA Globespeed Ltd for representation, while cargo handling services are being provided by Maman/Laufer Aviation, ensuring seamless operations and smooth handling of shipments.