Emirate airlines is pitching for increased export of flower and horticultural products from the country to increase its cargo to the Middle-East.
The divisional senior vice-president cargo, Ram Menen said the airline had met with exporters and freight operators with the objective of exposing them to new opportunities in the Middle-East.
This is likely to give the horticulture and flower industry a fresh impetus after its market in Europe was hit hard by the global financial crisis leading to reduced demand.
Airlines have not faired better either, with most experiencing reduced cargo business.
Emirates registering 25 per cent reduction this year compared to the previous year.
The cargo carried last year was 18,664 tonnes compared to 24,724 tonnes registered in 2008.
Total imports slightly improved by one per cent from 6131 from 6060 in 2008.
He said there was yield erosion due to excess capacity, with 40 per cent empty.
“Kenya has a very advanced flower industry and we shall work with the exporters to help them find new market opportunities We want to fit in their supply chain.” he said.
Emirates, which handles 19 per cent of the cargo globally is keen to grow its cargo business to the middle-east riding on the horticulture and flower industries.
Major exports from the country are fresh fruits and vegetables, assorted meat and beef, chilled fish and cut flowers, among others.
Imports constitute telecom equipments, computer accessories, medical equipments, vehicle and motor-cycle parts and electronic goods.
He said expansion of markets for horticulture in the middle east region had in the past been undermined by the airlines that withdrew leaving the exporters without an alternative.
“We wanted to assure the exporters that we are here to stay. Some came and went.” Mr Menen said.
Mr Menen said the markets in Russia and Australia had improved adding that the global export-import business had started to pick up with signs of economic recovery.