Astral Aviation: Forging a Sustainable Skyline

Executive Summary:

In the dynamic tapestry of cargo aviation, Astral Aviation emerges not just as a player but as a transformative force. Our operational base at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport signifies not just a location but a strategic hub redefining cargo aviation across Africa.

In alignment with the growing global awareness of environmental issues, Astral Aviation is dedicated to sustainability in its cargo operations which spans across Africa, Middle East, Asia and Europe.

We are mindful of the impact that our freighter fleet and flight operations has on the environment and are seeking collaborative solutions to minimize the impact in a proactive manner.

This report outlines our commitment to environmental responsibility, assesses our current impact, and highlights the initiatives we have implemented to enhance sustainability.



Astral Aviation is a dedicated All-Cargo Airline which operates from its base at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya to over 50 destinations in its scheduled and charter network, via its hubs in Nairobi, Dubai, Hong Kong, Johannesburg and Liege.

Astral’s fleet comprises of Boeing Freighters which range from the Boeing 747 Freighter, Boeing 767 Freighter, Boeing 757 Freighter, Boeing 727 Freighters, DC9 Freighter and Fokker 50 Turboprops.

The fleet age ranges from 35 – 40 years and lacks efficiency, reliability and modern navigation equipment, while ensuring conformity to the regulatory requirements of Kenya.

Astral Aviation acknowledges the unique environmental challenges posed by cargo operations in Africa, which is being performed by an aged fleet of converted freighter aircrafts which lack efficiency.

As a leading cargo airline on the continent, we are committed to balancing economic growth with responsible environmental practices.

This report provides an overview of our environmental impact and our ongoing efforts to reduce our carbon footprint.


Carbon Emissions:

2.1 Carbon Footprint Measurement: Astral Aviation is committed to transparency and corporate responsibility by participating in the Pilot program of CORSIA – Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, which was developed by ICAO.

Our participation began in 2019 and we have submitted our data for 2022 which has been verified by VERIFAVIA which is a leading independent verification body.

Our commitment to environmental excellence extends beyond mere participation. Our carbon reduction targets are not just metrics; they are pillars of accountability, placing Astral at the vanguard of global sustainability standards.

2.2 Emission Reduction Targets: Astral Aviation has set ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions. These targets will be reviewed and updated to ensure their effectiveness and alignment with global sustainability standards.


Fleet Modernization:

3.1 Fuel Efficiency: Investments are being made in the acquisition of modern, fuel-efficient aircraft for our cargo fleet. These aircraft leverage advanced technologies to reduce fuel consumption and lower emissions.

Our strategy is to replace the following freighter aircrafts with fuel efficient freighters:

DC9 Freighters will be replaced by Embraer 190 Freighter in 2025 which will result in 15% fuel savings.
Boeing 727 Freighters have been replaced by Boeing 757 Freighters in 2023/4 which has resulted in fuel savings in excess of 20%
Boeing 767 Freighters will be replaced by Airbus 330-300 Freighters in 2024/5
Boeing 747 400 Freighters have been discontinued in September 2023 and will be replaced by the Boeing 777-300 Extended Range Freighters in 2025

Astral’s investment in fuel-efficient aircraft is a deliberate move to shape the trajectory of cargo aviation. As we retire aging models, our embrace of cutting-edge alternatives, including Large Cargo Drones and Electric Cargo Aircraft, propels us into the forefront of sustainable aviation in East Africa.

We are the first cargo airline in the world to declare its intent to operate Large Cargo Drones and Electric Cargo Aircrafts with a capacity of upto 2 tons within East Africa and have engaged with manufacturers to test their technology in Africa under our Air Operators Certificate under a collaborative agreement with Astral Aerial Solutions, which is the first licensed UAV Operator in Kenya.

3.2 Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs): Astral Aviation is actively exploring and integrating sustainable aviation fuels into its cargo operations. We collaborate with suppliers and industry partners to incorporate SAFs, contributing to the reduction of our carbon footprint.

Our pursuit of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) is not just a strategic choice; it is a conscious effort to rewrite the narrative of carbon impact.


Operational Efficiency:

4.1 Flight & Route Optimization: We are implementing advanced analytics to optimize cargo routes, reducing fuel consumption and emissions through more efficient flight planning, particularly considering the unique geographic and logistical challenges in Africa.

Precision isn’t just a standard—it’s the essence of Astral’s operations. From advanced analytics optimizing cargo routes to meticulous flight operations practices, Astral’s commitment to fuel efficiency is not a mere strategy; it’s a philosophy ingrained in every aspect of our operations

We will adopt best practices for flight operations to improve fuel efficiency including

Optimizing fuel loads,
Minimizing the use of reverse thrust on landing,
Taxing on one engine and
Optimizing flap settings.
Reduction in the use of APU
Ensuring optimum climb, cruise altitude, aircraft speeds and direct routings
We also conduct a Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) during descent on every flight to conserve fuel and reduce emissions.

4.2 Ground Operations: Efforts are underway to enhance the sustainability of our ground operations, including the use of electric ground vehicles, energy-efficient facilities, and waste reduction measures in our Intra-African operations.

Sustainability isn’t confined to the skies at Astral Aviation. Our embrace of electric vehicles and implementation of waste reduction measures on the ground are emblematic of a holistic commitment to environmental responsibility.


Carbon Offsetting:

In collaboration with its subsidiary, Astral Aerial Solutions Ltd, which is a licensed UAV Operator and Training Centre, has developed a “Drone Aerial Seeding” using Seedballs with the objective of seeding hard to reach and inaccessible areas that require re-forestation.

The Proof of Concept was conducted in the town of Makindu in Kenya and was launched by HE President Ruto of Kenya during the National Tree Planting Holiday on 13th November 2023

The collaboration between Astral Aviation and Astral Aerial Solutions isn’t just a partnership; it’s a groundbreaking initiative. The “Drone Aerial Seeding” project, spreading over 50,000 seeds daily in Kenya, marks a tangible and pioneering contribution to reforestation and environmental preservation.


Stakeholder Engagement:

6.1 Collaboration: Astral Aviation actively engages with industry stakeholders, governmental bodies, and environmental organizations to foster collaboration and drive sustainable practices in the African aviation and cargo sectors.

Astral Aviation is a Trustee and Board Member of TIACA (The International Air Cargo Association) and participated in the Blue Skies Initiative pilot project. Astral is also a member of AFRAA (African Airlines Association) and KAAO (Kenya Association of Air Operators) and has participated actively in various workshops such as, Airplane Performance Boeing-AFRAA Airline Economics, Planning and Management Workshop held in Nairobi in September 2022, Aviation Carbon 2022 held in London in October 2022, 1st SAF Workshop on 2nd November, 2023 held in Nairobi among others.

Collaboration is the cornerstone of Astral’s approach. Our active engagement with industry stakeholders, participation in key associations and workshops exemplify our leadership in driving sustainable practices across African aviation.


Reporting and Transparency:

7.1 Regular Reporting: Astral Aviation is committed to regular and transparent reporting of its environmental performance. We disclose relevant data and progress toward sustainability goals in annual reports and other public communications, emphasizing the specific context of our operations in Africa.

Transparency isn’t just a reporting standard—it’s a commitment etched into Astral’s ethos. Our regular disclosure of environmental performance data, with a unique emphasis on Africa’s operational context, underlines our dedication to transparency and accountability.



Astral Aviation remains steadfast in its commitment to minimizing environmental impact and contributing to sustainable development across Africa. Ongoing improvements, innovation, and collaboration are integral to achieving a more sustainable future for cargo operations in the region.

In conclusion, Astral Aviation doesn’t just articulate a commitment to sustainability; we embody it. Each action, each initiative, and each collaboration boldly underline our unwavering commitment to minimizing environmental impact. As we propel cargo operations into a more sustainable future in Africa and beyond, Astral sets a new gold standard for global aviation—one that blends innovation, accountability, and a profound sense of responsibility.