The protest by KQ was based on fears that Ethiopian Airlines would slice a huge chunk of cargo business from KQ, which brings the national carrier Sh. 10 billion every year. But according to CS Macharia, KQ cannot not lift between 2,000 to 3,000 metric tonnes at its full capacity.
“The current capacity requirement for lifting cargo is between 3,500 and 4,500 metric tonnes, while the available capacity is 1,500 metric tonnes,” he said. “Based on the capacity deficit, there is need to allow for additional capacity to service sectors of the economy such as fresh/produce and flowers.”
According to chief executive officer Allan Kilavuka, KQ was also not consulted on the impact that this would have on the business. “Anytime you have a carrier wanting to come to your domain, you need to be consulted so that you are not disadvantaged at your main market,” he said. “Kenya Airways is worried that Ethiopian Airlines will take a huge chunk of the business of shipping flowers, fresh fruits, vegetables like green beans and peas as well as meat that have become increasingly scarce in Europe as the coronavirus pandemic hampers the global movement of produce.”