Kenya Airways. Picture: REUTERS
Kenya Airways. Picture: REUTERS

Nairobi — Kenya Airways is revamping its profitable cargo business to make itself attractive to e-commerce companies like Amazon and Ikea Group in an effort to double the unit’s contribution to revenue.

The airline is upgrading its warehouses to handle larger volumes and create an East African hub that can facilitate direct imports and provide temporary storage facilities before the goods are moved to other destinations, chief operations officer Jan de Vegt said.

Cargo, which contributes 10% of the group’s revenue, should account for as much as 20% of the company’s turnover in five years, he said.

The carrier, part-owned by Air France-KLM, is reviewing its network as it plans to add as many as 20 new routes over the next five years and buy as many as 10 Boeing 737 Max aircraft.

This will include growing its fleet with two freighters, giving it capacity to support the government’s push to encourage use of the national airline, according to De Vegt.

"I’m starting up a programme now to reduce weight on board," he said.

"This is especially important for the flower market," De Vegt said.