Maximus setting sights on ‘New Frontier’

With the first of its three new A300-600RF’s set to join the fleet in the next few months, Maximus Air Cargo – the UAE’s largest dedicated cargo aircraft operator – is setting its sights on the potential of Africa for future business growth. “With air traffic volumes into Africa set to grow at about 10 […]


With the first of its three new A300-600RF’s set to join the fleet in the next few months, Maximus Air Cargo – the UAE’s largest dedicated cargo aircraft operator – is setting its sights on the potential of Africa for future business growth. “With air traffic volumes into Africa set to grow at about 10 per cent, according to IATA, and with long reserves of resources and untapped investment opportunities, local markets in Africa hold strong profit potential,” said Fathi Hilal Buhazza, Maximus Air Cargo president and CEO. “The aviation sector in Africa has been steadily expanding over the last few years and the latest projections paint a positive picture for air transfer in Africa as a whole.” “The UAE itself imports over 160 tonnes of perishables every week which is an indication of regional demand,” explained Buhazza. “As a whole, Africa also has a potential for humanitarian relief flights including outsize charters like helicopters, armoured vehicles, generators and water tanks, amidst others. There is high demand too for oil well and mining equipment cargo on board. “Currently there is no capacity to move such quantity,” he said noting that Nairobi, in particular, currently exports 2,000 tonnes of perishables by air per week to Europe which includes cut flowers, fresh vegetables and fresh fish. And taking Kenya for instance, this one country sells 82 per cent of its horticultural exports in EU countries which reflects African export trends, Buhazza said. Although, players in this market include major international airlines which fly into Europe via the Middle East, there still continues to remain a need for capacity into Europe, he added. Maximus Air Cargo’s fleet, which is focused on developing the ACMI lease to operators market, is a perfect air freight model for perishable cargo, according to Maximus. “The massive export of flowers from Ethiopia and Kenya to Europe provides the right opportunity for the cargo aircraft operator to provide profitable solutions for such routings.” Charters are possible for outsize cargo, but require connections from Africa back to the Middle East, or Europe, said Joanne McConachy, Maximus’ marketing manager. “We have the flexibility to move time sensitive goods in the most efficient methods because of our regular North African operations.”