Panalpina completes acquisition of Kenyan forwarder Air Connection

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Atlas Air/Panalpina

Panalpina has completed the acquisition of Air Connection, a specialised forwarder of flowers and vegetables following approval by the Competition Authority of Kenya.

Air Connection was founded in 1993 and has operations close to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and in Mombasa, specialising in the export of flowers and vegetables from Kenya to destinations including the Netherlands and the UK.

The move follows Panalpina’s acquisition of Airflo in 2016, and the perishable business of Air Connection will be merged with Panalpina Airflo.

Panalpina chief executive officer, Stefan Karlen says: “The acquisition of Air Connection is another important step in building our Perishables Network. It further strengthens our existing global footprint and positions us as a clear market leader in perishables in Kenya.”

He adds: “It will also allow us to develop our perishables presence in the neighbouring countries of Tanzania and Uganda, where we see a lot of potential.”

Air Connection managing director and owner, Manjit Brar says: “Being part of a major logistics company which is focused on becoming the preferred global supplier of perishables logistics means we can now offer our customers end-to-end solutions and grow the perishables business out of Kenya.”

Panalpina Kenya and Panalpina Airflo managing director, Conrad Archer adds: “By combining Panalpina’s global network with Air Connection’s expertise in direct shipments, we can now offer our customers an unequalled service including direct shipments to over 150 destinations worldwide.”

The combined business boosts Panalpina Airflo’s existing cold storage capabilities to 4,200m2 dedicated to perishables and will handle around 70,000 tonnes of perishable airfreight a year, and construction has already begun to significantly increase cold storage for perishables, which will be completed next year.