KQ takes medical supplies to South Africa as carrier turns to cargo business

Kenya Airways says it has converted some of its grounded passenger planes into cargo freighters as it seeks to remain in operation during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Sunday, a KQ dreamliner of registration KQ 2764 took off from Nairobi for Johannesburg loaded with medical goods and essential items.

In the coming days, grounded passenger planes will be complementing the cargo freighters and will transport cargo across the world.

The outbreak had seen the company reduce its network by over 70% which made it difficult to continue offering international passenger services.

The carrier also suspended domestic flights after the government extended a ban on international flights and imposed a Nairobi-metropolitan area lock down.

Cargo flights however remain operational to offer emergency services and supplies during the pandemic.

Earlier in March Kenya Airways announced that staff salaries would be temporarily trimmed following the pandemic that hit the company’s bottom-line.

The management said all staff members would see a downward revision of their monthly salaries by at least 50 per cent.

The CEO is to take a pay cut of 80% and this will be reviewed on a monthly basis.

“We are therefore not taking any decision on layoffs. Instead, we would like everybody to participate in taking a salary reduction and paid and unpaid leave,” Kilavuka said.

Elsewhere, the Emirates Group announced that it is temporarily suspending most passenger flights — maintaining just its cargo operations — because of coronavirus.According to CNN, the Dubai-based airline plans to halt most passenger services as of March 25.The company said it will however continue operating passenger flights to 13 destinations in response to “requests from governments.”Video Of The Day: | THE EXPLAINER | Laboratory procedures for Covid-19 testing

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