One of the routes that has been in the network of Lufthansa Cargo for ever is the Frankfurt-Nairobi-Johannesburg-Nairobi-Frankfurt service. Except for Dakar and Cairo, these are the only destinations in Africa that the airline serves on a regular basis. Departure from Frankfurt to Kenya is in the early morning right when the airports opens at 5 am. It then takes about seven hours to reach the Kenyan capital city and its main airport Jomo Kenyatta Intl. (NBO/HKJK).
Approach to Nairobi
The approach to Nairobi starts from the north-west, as we are coming in over the border to Ethiopia and then proceed via Lodwar towards the south. The descend takes us past Lake Naivasha, which is home to large parts of the flower-growing industry. Especially roses are being exported from Kenya to the oversea markets of Europe and the Middle East and to a lesser extend East Asia. After being handed over to Nairobi Approach, we follow the arrival route over the famous Ngong Hills, which you can see at time 0:28 in the video. Depending on the traffic situation we will then get a direct vector for the approach to runway 06. The final approach then leads us over the Nairobi National Park and you can clearly see the cargo area on the right hand side just before touching down.
Taxi to parking
Once landed we usually vacate via L and then have to taxi back again to the other side of the airport. The cargo ramp is mostly empty when we arrive from Frankfurt, but it is really crowded on the way back at night-time! Parking procedures are fairly simple with a marshaller guiding us in. As soon as the brakes are set the stairway is being connected and the ground staff starts offloading cargo. These guys are always friendly and very professional – are real pleasure to work with. We pilots are then being taken by bus to the terminal, were we clear immigration and customs. We receive our baggage on one of the belts and as we are leaving the terminal our transport to the hotel is already waiting for us. With the Nairobi National Park just around the corner, we sometimes see giraffes from the airport road and this is when you know that you are in Africa!
Here is my latest video from the MD-11 flight deck:
Let me know what you think about this video and what you want to see in the future by commenting below! If you like this film, please share it with your friends as well – thanks, Felix.