Nairobi, Kenya-based Astral Aviation uplifts 19.5 tonnes of vaccines on its maiden cargo service from Mumbai, India to Sanaa, Yemen on 18 April.
The flight carrying nearly 360,000 doses from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport Mumbai (BOM) to Yemen’s Sanaa International Airport (SAH) routed via Djibouti’s Ambouli International Airport (JIB). As Ambouli airport is close to Yemen, all aircraft flying humanitarian cargo must make a security stop before flying onwards to Yemen.
Sanjeev Gadhia, CEO and founder, Astral Aviation, says: “Astral has never operated any flights to and from India which has been served via interline partners. During the pandemic, due to lack of direct capacity and connectivity between India and Africa, Astral has received a number of requests for the transportation of Covid-19 vaccines and pharma to and within Africa which are originating from Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
“This inaugural flight offers new opportunities for Astral’s clients to move freight from India via Astral’s Nairobi hub, and we look forward to operate more charters in 2021 due to the high demand for medical cargo,” Gadhia adds.
Astral has performed more than 300 charters for the humanitarian sector into Aden and Sanaa, using a combination of B727-200F, DC9F, CRJ200PF and Fokker 27.