Kenya Airways has partnered with Qantas, an Australian carrier, to transport Kenyan flowers to Australia.
This is a move that is likely to benefit the flower farmers in Kenya, as it will help export about 30 tons of fresh cut flowers every week.
The Australian market is a new one for the flower industry, which has been on the look for new markets over the last few years. As the flower industry diversifies, the new market has given the Kenya Airways cargo business an opportunity to enter a new route, which may benefit other industries other than the flower exports.
The Kenyan flowers such as the lilies, carnations and Kenyan roses are very popular in the international market. As such, the deal between KQ and the Australia’s Qantas Airways will go a long way in widening the market and increasing the volumes of Kenya’s flowers as well as other horticultural produce to the Australia and neighboring countries.
Kenya Airways to uplift flowers to Johannesburg, South Africa
According to the deal, Kenya Airways will uplift the flowers to Johannesburg, South Africa, a waypoint that that is served by KQ and the Australian airline. The Qantas will then receive the Kenya flowers in Johannesburg and carry them to Melbourne and Sidney.
The Kenya Airways serve the South African route several times a day and has the capacity to uplift the flowers and other palletized cargo in temperature controlled conditions. The same applies to the Qantas, which will uplift the Kenyan flowers across the Indian Ocean, as it takes them to Australia and other nearby markets.
Kenya Flower exports and new markets
In addition, the partnership assures the flower farmers of new markets that will boost their sales and ensure they have access to buyers. According to Ms. Patricia Odida, the Kenya Airways Sales manager, the interline partnership with Qantas means that the flower exporters will not have to rely on the other carriers as they used to do before. This was a challenge, especially with the growing demand for flowers as the markets grew.
The flower export is one of the major Kenya’s foreign exchange earners. For example, in the year 2015, a total of 122000 tons of fresh cut flowers were exported, earning the country about KSh 63 billion. However, there is still a huge potential for the flowers and other Kenyan horticultural produce.
Towards this end, the Kenya Flower Council Chief Executive, Jane Ngigi say that Kenya is still seeking markets other countries such America and the Far East. This will help the country earn the much required foreign exchange, increase employment and incomes. Other than the Australian route, the KQ cargo business is looking additional routes such as the Bangkok route that will help it enter the Asian market.