One of the world’s major players in the cargo aviation market, Saudi Cargo Airlines will operate twice weekly flights from Kenya to Manston, returning to Saudi Arabia, beginning on 1 October.
Allan McQuarrie, Group Manager Freight Development at Manston Airport, said: “We are delighted that Saudi Airlines Cargo has shown such confidence in the airport. It is a great boost for us and emphasises Manston’s capabilities in the dedicated freighter cargo market.”
The 747s will be bringing in fresh produce and flowers for onward transport by road to distributors and wholesalers. Export cargo from all over the UK will be transported to Manston and then to Saudi and beyond on a scheduled basis using the airline’s worldwide network.
Peter Scholten, vice-president cargo commercial at Saudi Cargo Airlines, commented: “Manston was the airport of choice for our clients in Kenya for perishables exports to the UK, and there is a growing demand for maindeck cargo from the UK to Saudi Arabia. This combination of two different markets is a perfect fit for our network.”
Saudi Airlines Cargo operates a fleet of 15 freighters and sells the belly-capacity on 145 passenger aircraft for Saudi Arabia’s flag carrier Saudia, spanning a rapidly expanding global network of 225 destinations. The Manston service will operate Nairobi-Jeddah-Manston-Saudi Arabia.
Allan McQuarrie added: “Our reputation for freight handling is growing as more and more carriers choose Manston. We can turn around a fully loaded 747 in around 90 minutes; cargo is loaded straight onto trucks rather than into a warehouse to be moved at a later date. When moving fresh produce this can be vital as it can often add another day to a product’s shelf life.
“The lack of congestion at Manston means we rarely have any delays that involve aircraft circling and not being able to land. Thanks to the excellent road infrastructure that links Manston to nearby London and the rest of the UK, the produce can be on a motorway within minutes of leaving the airport.
“We are expecting a very busy winter period this year, and Saudi Cargo will add to the current freighter capacity operating into the airport on a weekly basis.”
For more information on Manston’s facilities visit www.manstonairport.com