There is little to smile about for freighters during this year’s Valentine’s Day following low volumes of flowers to be shipped due to damage caused by prolonged rains. Last year and as has been the case with other Valentine’s Day seasons, freight firms have been increasing the number of flights to Europe because of high supply from local flower firms and enhanced demand from customers abroad.
Ojepati Okesegere, chief executive officer of Fresh Producers Consortium of Kenya, says there is a shortage of the produce as a good percentage of flowers were destroyed on the farms.
“There was a lot of damaged because of rains that went longer than expected, wreaking havoc on farms,” said Mr Ojepati, noting that flower firms had to also grapple with diseases, which impacted negatively on production in the country.
Sanjeev Gadhia, chief executive officer of Astral Aviation, says they have not added extra flights to Europe this year because of low volumes. The airline, which operates five flights a week in Europe and others across African countries, added eight flights to Europe last year.
However, this year the situation is different. “We have not added even a single flight this week because of low volumes this year to ferry to Europe,” said Mr Gadhia.