Amstelveen - 21 February 2012 – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Kenya Airways are the first carriers in the air transport industry to offer a direct service between China and Africa. The service connects China’s key industrial zone in Guangdong with the Kenyan capital Nairobi, the Gateway to Africa, offering access to all key African markets. Tonight a special freighter will take off from Nairobi, arriving in Amsterdam tomorrow morning. The aircraft is decorated in safari style and bears the slogan “Hunting for Business” in Chinese.
Trade between China and Africa is growing rapidly, and KLM and Kenya Airways are responding by extending their joint venture. The combination of KLM’s strong position in China and Kenya Airway’s leading position in Africa have resulted in a unique network. The Safari Connection, as it is known, is a triangular network connecting Europe, China and Africa. This will see the Kenya Airways hub in Nairobi developing further into a strong cargo gateway, offering customers efficient, reliable and swift transfer of their goods. This is a welcome addition to the cargo network that KLM offers to and from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
A Martinair B747-400 freighter will be deployed on this unique route and has been decorated in a specially designed livery, that not only reflects the Safari Connection but also the partnership between KLM and Kenya Airways. The roundtrip service will be operated twice weekly. The freighter has a maximum capacity of 110 tonnes.
“Thanks to the flexibility that the Martinair freighters offer the KLM Group, we can respond swiftly to market opportunities. This is very important in the current circumstances. This shows that the KLM Group intends to keep investing and innovating, thereby retaining an important role in the airfreight market. Naturally, we are also assessing opportunities to expand to other regions, such as Latin-America,” says Camiel Eurlings, managing director of KLM.