KLM Joint Venture Offers Unique China–Africa Cargo Service
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.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was founded in 1919, making it the world's oldest airline operating under its original name. In 2004, Air France and KLM merged to form AIR FRANCE KLM. The merger produced the strongest European airline group based on two powerful brands names and hubs —Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle. The two airlines collaborate on three core activities while maintaining their own identities — passenger transport, cargo, transport, and aircraft maintenance.
In the Netherlands, KLM comprises the core of the KLM Group which further includes KLM cityhopper and transavia.com. KLM serves 135 destinations using a modern fleet of 157 aircraft and employs over 33,000 people around the world. KLM is a leader in the airline industry, which offers reliable operations and customer-oriented products resulting from its policy of enthusiasm and sustainable innovation.
KLM is a member of SkyTeam, an airline alliance offering a network of 926 destinations in more than 173 countries. The KLM network connects the Netherlands to every important economic region around the world and, as such, serves as a powerful driver for the Dutch economy.