Feb, 2nd 2021 – Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has approved Kenya Airways’ request to convert some of its widebody 787-8s into freighters. The recent approval comes weeks after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also granted the airline’s request.
We have approved Kenya Airways request of turning the Dreamliner into a freighter and they can use it world-wide for cargo purposes,” said Gilbert Kibe, KCAA Director-General. The approval means KQ will have cargo-only 787 flights between Nairobi and New York in the new future.
The move by Kenya Airways is expected to support the national economy by boosting export capabilities, particularly the nation’s agricultural sector, which includes fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
This will also boost the number of flights KQ will operate even with more restrictions coming in due to rise of COVID 19 cases in Europe , Asia, and the US.
After operating just 60 flights in April 2020 (all aircraft types), the airline has steadily recovered and made 1,449 flights in January 2021 – although this is still down from the 3,887 flights made in January 2020.
The conversion will involve removal of seats since it will not be a full permanent conversion. Around the world, airlines have started doing the same with Air Canada being among the first to remove seats, install nets and place floor markings on the main passenger deck.