Astral Aviation to transport humanitarian aid in partnership with Airlink

An Astral Aviation Boeing 767 cargo freighter on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Astral Aviation
Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

Nairobi-based Astral Aviation, a leading cargo airline in East Africa, has recently signed a significant partnership agreement with Airlink, a disaster response non-profit organization.

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) solidifies their commitment to transporting 50 tons of humanitarian aid over the course of the next year.

Above: Sanjeev S Gadhia, Founder & CEO, Astral Aviation, with Bethany Holland, Senior Programs Manager, Airlink.

Supporting humanitarian relief efforts

The collaboration aims to bolster humanitarian relief efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in war-ravaged and disaster-stricken regions.

Under the agreement, Astral Aviation will provide cargo space within their extensive network to support the movement of humanitarian aid facilitated by Airlink.

 This partnership has already proven fruitful, with Astral Aviation assisting in the transportation of vital medicines and medical supplies to South Sudan.


The supplies, donated by Airlink’s NGO partner, Partners for World Health, were distributed to IMA World Health, another member of Airlink’s network.

These essential resources will be delivered to flood-affected regions in the Great Upper Nile area and various health facilities along South Sudan’s border with Uganda.

Astral Aviation

Astral Aviation operates an extensive network connecting East Africa to key destinations in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, with major hubs located in Nairobi, Johannesburg, and Dubai.

By joining forces with Airlink, the airline expands its capacity to support humanitarian relief efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the need for assistance remains high.

Photo Credits: Astral Aviation

Mr. Sanjeev Gadhia, the CEO of Astral Aviation Limited, expressed the significance of the partnership, stating:

“As Astral Aviation, we see the partnership with Airlink as an important opportunity to support some of the humanitarian efforts in the sub-Saharan region, helping alleviate the suffering of war-ravaged and disaster-stricken populations.”

Airlink, a prominent humanitarian non-profit organization, collaborates with aviation sector businesses like Astral Aviation to provide free air transport and logistical coordination to a network of 150 relief and disaster response non-profits.

By leveraging partnerships in the aviation industry, Airlink has saved its non-profit partners over $12 million in air transport costs since 2010. These savings allow network partners to redirect valuable resources towards purchasing additional humanitarian aid and funding service delivery.

Steven J. Smith, President and CEO of Airlink, highlighted the impact of airline commitments in supporting communities affected by immediate crises and long-term recovery efforts. He stated:

“The humanitarian non-profit community is under immense resource pressures due to COVID responses, the war in Ukraine, inflation, and economic downturns.”

“Airline commitments like the one Astral Aviation is making allow Airlink and our non-profit partners to respond to immediate needs while also addressing systemic issues, such as healthcare.”

In 2022 alone, Airlink swiftly responded to over 40 emergencies, facilitating the transport of 1,300 skilled responders and more than 1,400 tons of humanitarian aid. This aid reached and positively impacted the lives of over 12.5 million people worldwide.

Through their formal partnership with Airlink, Astral Aviation demonstrates their dedication to supporting humanitarian efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa.

By leveraging their extensive network and cargo capabilities, the Nairobi-based airline contributes to the crucial task of delivering aid to vulnerable populations affected by conflicts, natural disasters, and other crises.

The collaboration between Astral Aviation and Airlink marks a significant step forward in strengthening the humanitarian response in the region, providing hope and relief to those in need.

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