Astral Aviation Sharjah

Nairobi-based cargo airline, Astral Aviation, will operate flights to Sharjah, as part of an expansion of its operations within the Middle East.

The Sharjah Airport Authority said that there will be two flights per week from Nairobi in Kenya to Sharjah, using Boeing 767 aircraft, reported state news agency WAM.

Sanjeev Gadhia, founder and CEO of Astral Aviation, added: “We will provide a scheduled service for perishables from East Africa to Sharjah for the UAE region, while on the return, Astral’s consolidations from China, and the UAE will be moved from Sharjah to Nairobi for onward connection to Astral’s intra-African network.”

Astral Aviation headquartered in Nairobi, has second hub in Liege, Belgium, while the Sharjah Airport will be the third hub for the company and its first in the Middle East.

“Sharjah Airport continues to attract new airlines and routes, such as Astral Aviation, which cements our leading position as an international hub for freight,” said Ali Salim Al Midfa, chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority.

“Agreements such as this also confirm our commitment to providing the highest international standards and practices for the air cargo sector through specialised warehousing, which has obtained CEIV accreditation from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). We look forward to employing our full logistical capabilities and working with Astral Aviation to ship Covid-19 vaccines from China to the African continent in an efficient and smooth manner.”

The storage and handling unit of medicinal products at the cargo centre in Sharjah necessitates continuous temperature control and monitoring thermal changes from the moment they disembark the plane to the moment of delivery.

“The advanced infrastructure provided by the airport, and the support air freight systems that connect the cargo center to all international destinations, constitute a qualitative addition, especially since Sharjah Airport has proven its efficiency and ability to quickly respond to cargo operations that need special attention in terms of handling, shipping and storage,” added Al Midfa.