Etihad Cargo: Strengthening Trade Links Across the Globe

Etihad Cargo, the logistics arm of Etihad Airways, recently signed an agreement with Astral Aviation to foster economic growth in the UAE and Africa

Since being established in 2004, Etihad Cargo has grown rapidly to become one of the leading air cargo carriers in the world, offering customers a range of cargo products and services to five major continents.

Its hub, in Abu Dhabi, is strategically located at the centre of the busiest trade lanes, providing an integral link between Asia, Europe, North America, Australia and Africa.

One such example of Etihad Cargo’s global links is its partnership with Astral Aviation, a leading cargo airline with extensive African network coverage. Together, the pair are on a mission to foster economic growth in both the UAE and Africa.

Etihad Cargo expands reach into Africa

A promising collaboration between Etihad Cargo and Astral Aviation officially began with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed with the aim of expanding the former’s reach into the African market.

Under the MOU, the carriers have committed to leveraging their combined networks, expertise and logistics capabilities to enhance cargo services between the UAE and Africa.

Stanislas Brun, VP Cargo at Etihad Cargo, has called the partnership an “ambitious journey”, stating that promised solutions would “cater to the dynamic needs of partners and customers” – especially in the fast-growing African market.

One particular hope is that Etihad Cargo and Astral Aviation’s collaboration will increase capacity and offer efficient logistics solutions, particularly for time-sensitive shipments such as the transport of perishable goods.

Overall, it is being seen as a testament to both airlines' commitment to providing innovative and customer-centric solutions, ensuring high-quality service across their operations.

Inaugural flight for Etihad Cargo and Astral Aviation

As part of their newly-established relationship, Etihad Cargo and Astral Aviation recently completed the inaugural flight from Nairobi, Kenya, to Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Cargo is the logistics arm of Etihad Airways

This was strategically timed to accommodate the increased demand for flowers, demonstrating the synergy between Etihad Cargo's global reach and Astral Aviation's strong African network. 

Following this success, Astral Aviation is set to resume weekly operations from Abu Dhabi, further strengthening trade links between the UAE and Africa and catering to a wide range of cargo needs.

Sanjeev Gadhia, CEO at Astral Aviation, labelled the collaboration a “significant milestone” in trade between Africa and Abu Dhabi. 

He explains: “This new flight will enable the efficient transportation of perishables including flowers, fresh fruits, vegetables and meat from Astral's hubs in Nairobi and Johannesburg into Etihad's Abu Dhabi hub and onto their network.

“On return, the freighter will carry cargo from Etihad Cargo's network in Asia, the USA and Europe into Astral's intra-African network, resulting in new opportunities for our respective clients."

Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Airways, is also set to provide additional belly capacity to partners and customers via daily passenger flights to Nairobi from May 2024. Furthermore, the firm operates a weekly freighter service connecting Nairobi to Amsterdam via the carrier's Abu Dhabi hub.

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