Kenya Airways, South African Airways join forces toward creating Pan African airline
Kenya’s national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) and South Africa Airways (SAA) have entered a memorandum of cooperation with a longer-term view to co-starting a Pan-African Airline Group that in time will enhance mutual growth potential between the two carriers.
This cooperation aligns with KQ’s core purpose, ‘Contributing to the sustainable development of Africa’, will be based on mutual benefits. These include strategic positioning in global aviation, diversifying earning streams, and reinforcing regional partnership in Africa through diplomatic and commercial relations. This will see an increase in passenger traffic, cargo opportunities, and general trade by taking advantage of strengths in South Africa, Kenya, and Africa.
Mr. Allan Kilavuka, Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, highlighted the partnership’s significance in turning around the fortunes of both KQ and SAA.
“The future of aviation and its long-term sustenance is hinged on cooperation. KQ and SAA collaboration will enhance customer benefits by availing a larger combined passenger and Cargo network, fostering the exchange of expertise, innovation, best practice, and adopting home-grown organic solutions to technical and operational
KQ remains committed to its financial turnaround strategy. The pursuit of partnerships is one of the core strategic pillars that shall transform the airline by ensuring its financial viability while offering world-class services in Africa and the world.
SAA said in a separate statement that the pact did not preclude either firm from pursuing commercial cooperation with other carriers and said collaborating would help contain costs.
South African Airways (SAA) and Kenya Airways (KQ) have signed a cooperation agreement with a long-term view to create a pan-African airline group, the two companies said on Tuesday.
“It is not a merger but a partnership that seeks to re-organise KQ and SAA assets into an ecosystem that will make the South African and Kenyan aviation sector more competitive,” Kenya Airways said in a statement.
State-owned SAA restarted domestic flights last week and this week launches a scaled-down international service to five African capitals, after its longstanding financial woes were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It exited administration in April thanks to another state bailout, and the government has said it will sell a 51% stake in the airline to a local consortium.
Kenya Airways’ passenger business has also been severely constrained by COVID-19, and it has focused on cargo to minimise losses.
Kenya has plans to renationalise the airline, whose code-share agreement with Air France-KLM for Africa-Europe routes ends this month.