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From flowers to vaccines, Kenya Airways sees new opportunity

With passenger traffic in a slump, airlines are turning to freight to fill the gap -- and Kenya Airways spies an advantage in the market to deliver temperature-sensitive Covid vaccines: its expertise in flying fresh roses to Europe.

Some 3,000 tonnes of flowers are currently exported every week from Nairobi's international airport under demanding cool-storage conditions akin to those required to safely ship Covid vaccines.

Jabs earmarked for Africa risk spoilage if not transported within precise temperature ranges from ground handling to shipment and delivery -- a logistical feat beyond many infrastructure-poor countries on the continent.

 "That is the range we manage our fresh flowers, so it's very common and well known in our temperature control mechanisms," Peter Musola, Kenya Airways' general manager of cargo, told AFP in an interview this week.

"Around fresh, cool-chain management, I will tell you Nairobi is way ahead of so many countries."

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