Etihad Crystal Cargo, a division of Etihad Airways, will now operate its A300-600 freighter aircraft between Abu Dhabi and Nairobi twice a week following a new interline deal with Astral Aviation.
The partnership also gives Etihad Crystal Cargo access to the following seven Astral destinations across Africa: Entebbe, Zanzibar, Dar Es Salaam, Mwanza, Juba, Kigali and Bujumbura.
The deal, which was signed recently at the World Air Cargo Event in Bangkok between Des Vertannes, Etihad’s executive vice president cargo, and Sanjeev S Gadhia, CEO of Astral, increases Etihad Crystal Cargo’s network to 59 destinations, nine of which are operated exclusively by the airline’s freighters.
Mr. Vertannes said: ‘Last year witnessed a record performance from Etihad Crystal Cargo and we are delighted to expand our global flight network even further following this interline agreement with Astral Aviation.’
‘This interline agreement is a very important addition to our airline’s cargo division and will help to continue the rapid growth of our shipments across Africa and build on the strong relationships we already have there.’
Mr. Gadhia said ‘Interline traffic accounts for 60% of in-bound shipments into Astral’s network, and the recent bilateral interline agreement with Etihad Crystal Cargo marks an important synergy for both airlines whose GSA’s and customers will have access to a wider network.’
With its fleet of two Airbus A300-600 aircraft and an MD11, Etihad Crystal Cargo has 13 cargo freighter destinations, including Frankfurt Haan, Mumbai, Lagos, Colombo and Milan.
Etihad Crystal Cargo offers sophisticated shipment tracking systems, including an SMS (short message service) alert service, which allows customers to get real-time information about the status of their consignments on their mobile phones.