Kenyan firm expects more Chinese airlines in Africa to boost trade
11 February 2016, 21:14
Nairobi - A Kenyan cargo firm has called
for more Chinese airlines to fly to Africa in order to expand Sino-Africa
Kenya's Astral Aviation CEO Sanjeev Gadhia told Xinhua in
Nairobi that currently only two Chinese airlines fly to Africa.
"We want more Chinese airlines to come Africa so as to
improve connectivity between the two regions," Gadhia said.
He urged more Chinese airlines to consider flying directly
to Africa due to the huge demand for travel that is fueled by growing Sino-Africa
In 2015, Astral signed an agreement with China Southern
Airlines. Under the agreement, Astral will transport Chinese goods that arrive
in Nairobi from China Southern Airlines to the rest of East and Central African
"Our role is to provide last mile logistics to Chinese
goods headed to the hinterland countries such as Rwanda, Burundi and South
Sudan," he said.
Also read: CORD
MP calls Kalonzo dictator
Astral has also signed an agreement with the Chinese Customs
whereby Astral airlines will be allowed to consolidate Kenyan bound cargo in
Gadhia said his company is eager to sign more deals with
Chinese airlines so as to ease the movement of goods between China and Africa.
He said better air links between China and Africa will
improve the bilateral trade.
He also noted that due to the great distance between the two
regions trade can be complicated.
On average a container takes 45 days to travel by sea from
China to the Port of Mombasa, Kenya.
However, if the goods are destined for Rwanda, it would take
another two weeks to be cleared at the port and reach Rwanda.
According to Astral, the same container will move from China
to Rwanda in four days if it is transported by air.
Gadhia said closer cooperation in the aviation sector will
therefore bring more benefits to both regions.
"It will result in lower cost of trade as well as
reduce transportation time," he said. Enditem