carrier MK Airlines is to switch its fleet to the UK register as
part of a plan to increase business flexibility, after years of operating on
the registry of Ghana.
marks the latest stage in a development plan for the carrier, which has
undergone a change of ownership in recent months after a private equity
investor agreed to take a majority shareholding in the airline.
Airlines’ fleet has been on the Ghanaian registry since the carrier was founded
15 years ago. It presently operates 14 aircraft, a mix of Boeing 747 and
McDonnell Douglas DC-8 freighters.
month the airline will submit an application to the UK Civil Aviation Authority
to transfer its 747 fleet to the UK registry – a process which will take about
six months to complete – but it has yet to decide whether to transfer the DC-8
fleet as well.
to ATI at an event in London, MK Airlines
chief executive Mike Kruger said: “It’s always been the long-term strategic
plan. It will open up a whole lot of new business.”
says the carrier will “look closely” at re-registering the DC-8s but adds the
747 is the primary focus for the carrier’s operations owing to its economic
adds the UK
is “well-positioned” to allow the company to implement a global expansion plan
and describes the re-registration as a “logical step” for the airline. About
half of its workforce of 450 personnel is based in the UK.
– a native Zimbabwean who has just gained UK citizenship
– insists the shift to the UK register is
completely unconnected with the US
regulatory decision to impose restrictions on operations by Ghanaian-registered
aircraft. He says that MK Airlines, which serves around 30 destinations,
conducts its main business in areas such as the Asia-Pacific region – including
and Macau – as well as the Middle East
anything the USA
is quite a weak market at the moment,” he says.
an investment agreement, MK Airlines is now majority-owned by private equity
house Northcote Holding, an
Isle of Man-based company. Investor Farhad
Moshiri, who is linked to
steel production and energy sector businesses, is behind Northcote’s backing of MK Airlines.
Moshiri tells ATI the
equity house sees air cargo as a growing sector and says MK Airlines is a “very
good” carrier that “will be more valuable” as a result of the registration
Airlines has its administrative centre at Hartfield in the southern UK and a
maintenance base at Filton
The carrier used to conduct many of its services out of Kent International Airport outside London but recently shifted its
European base to Ostend in Belgium.