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Suid Cargo Takes Off as South Africa’s Newest Cargo Airline

An Eva Air Cargo 747 (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Terrill Murriel)

South Africa is set to welcome a new cargo airline, Suid Cargo, which will commence non-scheduled cargo flights from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport in the second quarter of 2023.

The airline plans to operate to over 20 destinations across Southern, West and East Africa, including Mozambique, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia, Namibia, D R Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Angola, and Rwanda.

The carrier, 25% owned by Kenya-based cargo airline Astral Aviation, will begin by leasing a Boeing 727-200 freighter from Astral Aviation and will subsequently acquire additional freighters such as Embraer 190 Freighter and Airbus 320F or Boeing 737-800F in 2024. The airline’s long-term goal is to transition to a scheduled carrier in 2024 and to operate on the domestic network.

Announcing the new airline at Air Cargo Africa event in Johannesburg, Kevin Moodley, Commercial Director of Suid Cargo Airlines, has said that the new airline will promote exports from South Africa in addition to transit shipments to over 20 African destinations. The airline will also have a unique Sea-Air Cargo product from the Ports of Durban and Cape Town, reducing transit time to landlocked regions in Africa.

The announcement comes amidst heightened competition in the air freight industry, with other carriers like Ethiopian Cargo, Kenya Airways Cargo, RwandAir Cargo, and Astral Aviation reinforcing their fleets to meet the growing cargo demand.

Air freight has witnessed a tremendous surge over the past few years, especially during the pandemic when commercial passenger flights were grounded.

The CEO of Astral Aviation, Sanjeev Gadhia, has expressed his delight at supporting South Africa’s newest cargo airline, Suid Cargo Airlines, and is confident that the start-up cargo airline can scale its operations to cover Southern, West and East Africa, including Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, using their B747-400F, B767F and B757F on a charter basis.

Thomas Honiball, Accountable Manager, and CEO of Suid Cargo has expressed his excitement at the launch of the new cargo airline and is optimistic about the growth prospects of the African air freight market. The cargo airline’s focus on exports and transit shipments aligns with the South African government’s efforts to promote trade and investments in the continent.

The launch of Suid Cargo Airlines is a positive development for the air freight industry in South Africa and the wider African continent. The airline’s unique Sea-Air Cargo product and its focus on exports and transit shipments will enable it to cater to the growing demand in the region. With plans to acquire additional freighters and transition to a scheduled carrier in 2024, Suid Cargo is set to be a major player in the African air freight industry.

Victor Shalton


  • Victor Shalton

    Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Victor’s love for aviation goes way back to when he was 11-years-old. Living close to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, he developed a love for planes and he even recalls aspiring to be a future airline executive for Kenya Airways. He also has a passion in the arts and loves writing and had his own aviation blog prior to joining AirlineGeeks. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration at DeKUT and aspiring to make a career in a more aviation-related course.

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