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Astral Aviation acquires aircraft in lease deal to boost exports

An Astral plane on the runway. FILE PHOTO | NMG
An Astral plane on the runway. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Nairobi-based cargo carrier Astral Aviation – and its general sales agent Network Airline Management (NAM) - have acquired a new aircraft from Air Atlanta Icelandic in a wet lease agreement seeking to boost fresh produce exports.

Under the deal, the Kópavogur-based Air Atlanta has added a factory-built, nose-loader B747-400F to Astral and NAM’s existing fleet of three MD-11(Fs).

The aircraft was launched in Nairobi on Wednesday

Unlike a dry lease, which covers the supply of aircraft alone, the wet lease arrangement allows Air Atlanta to supply the aircraft, its crew, take charge of its maintenance, and arrange for insurance.

“The newly acquired B747-400F will strengthen our position as a market-leader in perishable exports from Kenya to the UK market,” said Mr Sanjeev Gadhia, Astral Aviation founder and chief executive.

“Furthermore, the B747F will feed its intra-African network in Nairobi with cargo, which will be consolidated in its Liege hub originating from Europe and the US.”

NAM is a division of the Network Aviation Group. With its managed fleet of B747F and MD11F aircraft and over 30 offices across the globe, it hopes to ride on the deal to grow its presence Africa.

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