Astral Aviation, a Nairobi-based cargo airline, has acquired its first Boeing 767 aircraft which it is leasing from Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATSG) under a five-year deal.
The Boeing 767-200 converted freighter was delivered to Astral Aviation of Kenya by the American aviation holding company on Wednesday, October 28.
This is the first aircraft ATSG has leased to Astral, as well as the first Boeing 767 that Astral has put into service.
“We are pleased to introduce the B767 freighter into our fleet,” said Astral Chief Executive Officer Sanjeev Gadhia, who added that “this aircraft will allow us to better serve the needs of our customers throughout our intra-African and Middle East networks, and ATSG’s support and assistance has been indispensable. Establishing a partnership with the world’s largest lessor of 767’s is something we have been after for some time now. I view this as the start to something special for Astral and all of sub-Saharan Africa.”
Astral currently provides scheduled and charter cargo service to more than 50 destinations in Africa and Europe, with its fleet of Boeing 747, Boeing 727, McDonnell Douglas DC-9, BAE ATP, Fokker 50 and Fokker 27 freighters operating out of bases in Nairobi and Liege.
On his part, ATSG Chief Commercial Officer Mike Berger said, “ATSG welcomes the opportunity to help Astral broaden its service offerings by delivering its first 767 aircraft, and we look forward to more opportunities to expand our relationship in the future with Sanjeev and his team.”