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Kenya Airways, South African carrier to form regional airline

BUSINESS
By Peter Theuri | September 29th 2021

Kenya Airways (KQ) and South Africa Airways (SAA) have signed a memorandum of co-operation to co-start an African airline group that will enhance mutual growth potential between the two carriers.

The co-operation, which the airlines said is of “longer-term view” will include strategic positioning in global aviation, diversifying earning streams and reinforcing regional partnership in Africa through diplomatic and commercial relations.

It is expected that the deal will result to an increase in passenger and cargo traffic, and general trade by taking advantage of strengths in South Africa, Kenya and Africa.

Kenya Airways Group Managing Director Allan Kilavuka said 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 challenges,” he said.

SAA Interim Chief Executive Thomas Kgokolo said the co-operation, which includes demand recovery and other cost containment strategies, will aid recovery of both carriers in an increasingly competitive African airline environment.

“It will also enhance related Kenya and South Africa tourism circuits, which account for significant portions of respective country growth domestic product, benefiting from at least two attractive hubs in Johannesburg, Nairobi and possibly Cape Town,” he said.

“KQ and SAA, as iconic airline brands of Africa’s biggest and vibrant economies, are at the precipice of what could be Africa’s formidable pan-African airline.

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